Food Law News - EU - 2009

Commission Midday Express, 14 July 2009

CLAIMS - Health Claims: Procedural Prospects

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has decided to publish its opinions on health claims in several batches, starting by September 2009. The European Commission will thus propose risk management conclusions to the Member States, taking into account this partial assessment of the health claims used on the EU market, as soon as EFSA proceeds with the publications.

By January 31 2008, the Commission had received more than 44,000 Article 13 health claims from the Member States. Such a high number was not expected and delays were caused as Member States compiled their national lists in different ways. The Commission consolidated this list into 4,000 health claims and passed on the dossier to EFSA. The Authority requested further clarifications for more than 2,000 of these. The clarification process, which is complex as it involves Member States and other interested parties, has not been completed yet. Because of this delay it will not be possible for EFSA to evaluate all submitted claims in time to allow the Commission to adopt the Community list of all permitted Article 13 health claims by the set deadline of January 31, 2010.

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