Food Law News - EU - 2007

EFSA News item, 19 June 2007

EFSA - EFSA Management Board met today in Parma: discussions included future work on health claims

EFSA’s Management Board met today, 19th June, in Parma. The Board considered recommendations from the Executive Director on action in relation to workload, resource and other practical issues to support the work of its scientific experts.

Action was proposed in a number of areas: the creation of a new Panel, the further use of scientific experts to support the Scientific Committee working across EFSA’s scientific remit. EFSA will also consider opportunities to build awareness, appreciation and recognition of the work of its experts amongst the scientific community; for instance through the possible creation of an EFSA Scientific Journal and the submission of scientific articles for publication in peer review journals.

The next steps will be for EFSA’s staff to take forward the implementation of these recommendations, reporting back to the September Board meeting. A dialogue with the Commission will also be a key part of the on-going work, recognising the importance of close cooperation between EFSA and the Commission as well as with Member States and stakeholders in order to manage EFSA’s finite resources most appropriately.

The meeting also received a presentation by Professor Albert Flynn, Chair of the Panel on dietetics products, nutrition and allergies (NDA) on the work carried out by the NDA Panel and its future challenges. Prof. Flynn outlined the practical steps being planned to support this major work programme, including the new work being undertaken on nutrition and health claims, by using additional experts from Member States in preparing opinions; contracting out elements of the work; and increasing the in-house staff.

The presentation also highlighted the current work on the draft guidance to applicants on the submission of health claims for authorisation. EFSA’s NDA Panel will assess the scientific evidence substantiating these claims and will provide scientific advice on nutrient profiles for products bearing claims. The intention is to adopt the opinion on guidance at the next NDA Panel meeting in July, having taken into account comments received during the consultation period and at the recent meeting held with stakeholders on 11 June.

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