Luxembourg and Germany picked up food supplements from the US containing the bark of Tabebuia impetiginosa – a tree species taxonomically known as Handroanthus impetiginosus.
According to the RASFF notification the botanical ingredient is novel, meaning its sellers should seek safety assessment and approval before bringing it to the EU market.
However, Joris Geelen, the founder of Food Law Consult who worked previously on the harmonised list of botanicals between Belgium, France and Italy (BELFRIT), said in these three countries it was not considered novel.
“Bark, sapwood and decoct are currently still authorised in Belgium because it was added to the list after the safety evaluation of the Advisory commission in Belgium (2004). A warning is obligatory on the label to advise not to use during pregnancy,” he told us.
“The bark and flowers of Tabebuia avellanedae Lorentz ex Griseb., a synonym is mentioned in the list of authorised in Italy. These plants are all considered not novel food.”
However he conceded it may depend on the preparation used.
The blocked supplements also contained too high amounts of zinc (50 mg per item), vitamin B6 (20 mg/item) and vitamin E (100 IU).
The shipment was returned to the sender. A consumer warning has not been published.