Food industry says claims law still unclear

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Emma Purcell, buyer, Lidl Ireland; Tommy O’Donoghue, head of consumer foods, Lakeland Dairies and Brendan Conway, buying director - food, Lidl Ireland (Pic: Robbie Reynolds)

The Europe-wide food industry has expressed deep concerns over the impact of EFSA's new health claims checking process

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Brand Central

8 July 2009 | 0

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EU-based food manufacturers and industry groups left frustrated from their health claims clarification meeting with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) last month.

To the annoyance of industry stakeholders present the controversial article 13.1, which relates to the process by which food health claims are submitted for assessment before they can be used, was not on the agenda for discussion. Various groups are expressing “deep concerns” over the lack of clarity in how this process works and are calling for the legislation to be shelved until further dialogue can be had. To date, EFSA has returned over 2,000 health claims (almost half of submissions) to the European Commission for further clarification.

Industry groups say the legislation is causing a ‘brain drain’ in Europe as it is stifling innovation and food R&D. EFSA has admitted rejecting submissions that only “marginally” missed approval, but it has promised greater transparency in the future, based on feedback from the industry.

 

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