Food Law News - EU - 2011

DH Letter, 19 July 2011

CLAIMS - Update from the European Commission’s Working Group meeting on nutrition and health claims, 18 July 2011

Nutrition claims

The proposal to amend the nutrition claims annex to the nutrition and health claims regulation (NHCR) is likely to be presented for a vote at Standing Committee on 12 October.

Discussions on Article 13(5) and 14 health claims opinions

Q-2009-00458 (Article 14) regarding replacement of saturated fats with unsaturated fats

There was a discussion about how to frame clear conditions of use (COU) and it was suggested that foods bearing the claim could be required to comply with the COU for the ‘high in unsaturated fats’ nutrition claim. However, it’s not clear how to word the requirement that a significant amount of saturated fatty acids must also have been replaced by unsaturated fatty acids.

Q-2010-01092 (Article 13.5) zinc and prevention of bad breath by neutralising volatile sulphur compounds in the mouth and oral cavity

EFSA’s opinion stated that the claimed effect did not relate to a function of the body therefore the application did not comply with the requirements of the NHCR. There was some discussion of whether this claim and others (e.g. beauty claims) were within the scope of the Regulation however no conclusions were reached and this issue will come up again at the working group on interpretation issues in the autumn.

Article 13.5 ‘Toothkind’ claim

In response to questions from member states (MS), EFSA clarified various aspects of its follow-up opinion. A further proposal for wording and conditions of use is likely to be made in the autumn.

List of article 13 health claims.

There was discussion of the following outstanding general issues:

No conclusions were reached and these points will be discussed again.

Further assessment of certain Article 13 claims

The Commission has put information about the further assessment process on its website. The list of eligible claims has been extended to include a total of seven from the fourth and fifth batches of EFSA’s opinions; one from batch six will be added when these opinions are published on 28 July. The deadlines for the further assessment process will remain unchanged unless it becomes obvious that they need to be amended to accommodate these few additional claims.

Two points about the process were clarified and one issue of concern highlighted:

Next meeting

The date for the Commission working group meeting in September is not yet confirmed.

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