Food Law News - EU - 2011

Commission Midday Express, 30 June 2011

CLAIMS - Commission welcomes publication of EFSA's fifth set of opinions on Article 13 claims

The European Commission welcomes the publication of the European Food Safety Authority's (EFSA) fifth set of opinions covering more than 530 health claims on food products (also known as "Article 13 claims"). It follows the publication of the first four series of opinions published on 1 October 2009, 25 February 2010, 19 October 2010 and 8 April 2011.

The five sets of opinions cover more than 2,700 health claims of the approximately 4,600 submitted for scientific advice. In total, the Member States submitted to the Commission more than 44,000 health claims. The Commission consolidated these into a list of approximately 4,600. Due to the large number of health claims received and the delay in submissions by stakeholders to Member States, the deadline of 31 January 2010, stipulated in the Health Claims Regulation, for the adoption of a list of permitted health claims could not be met. Five more opinions on 35 remaining claims are expected to be published in July.

The publication of these five opinions, in line with the review of the approach announced on 27 September 2010 ( IP/10/1176), will finalise the assessment of all claims on substances other than the so-called "botanicals." The Commission will then establish in one step the list of permitted health claims for all substances other than "botanicals." Subsequently, consideration will be given to the claims concerning the "botanicals" (which include, for example, Linum usitatissimum, Aloe barbadensis, Hypericum perforatum, Echinacea pallida).

The Commission foresees an adoption of the Health Claims Regulation by early 2012.

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