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Health claims regulation ‘a new dawn’ says FAIA boss

Today’s publication of Commission Regulation EU 432/2012 establishing a list of permitted health claims on food (other than those referring to the reduction of disease risk and to children’s development and health) has been declared ‘a new dawn for the functional food industry’ by Nigel Baldwin, Chairman of the Food Additives & Ingredients Association (FAIA.)

EU FlagThis long-awaited regulation (which applies from 14 December 2012) completes the list of positive list of health claims permitted in the European Union by the addition of general function ‘Article 13.1’ health claims to the already adopted lists of new ‘Article 13.5’ general function health claims and ‘Article 14’ health claims.

“This is a new dawn for the functional food industry in Europe,” says Baldwin. “However, everybody agrees it’s not perfect and many are still trying to understand what this means for their future innovation.

“But it does create as many new opportunities as it does restrictions. We can now use more than 200 new health claims. And where there are gaps in the market, such as for weight loss products, there is obviously opportunity for those prepared to invest in high quality scientific studies.

“We, the industry, look forward to further constructive dialogue with the UK Department of Health, the Commission and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to continue to develop a robust but proportionate approach. We are ready for the challenge as ingredient producers.”

Use of food additives ‘safer and more transparent’ thanks to new legislation.

Safer and more transparent use.

The use of additives in food will soon become even safer and more transparent thanks to legislation adopted by the European Commission.

“This represents a landmark in our efforts to strengthen food safety in the EU,” says Health and Consumer Policy Commissioner John Dalli (pictured). “The adoption of two regulations on additives will further empower citizens and industry alike as they will make it easier for everyone concerned to know exactly what additives are allowed in foodstuffs.”

The two regulations establish two new lists. The first concerns additives in food and will come into force in June 2013. This list will allow consumers to easily identify which additives are authorised in a particular foodstuff. The second list relates to additives in food ingredients, and will apply 20 days after its publication in the EU’s Official Journal.

Transparency is one major benefit of the new legislation as the new list makes it obvious that in some food categories the authorised additives are very limited or not allowed at all. This is the case, for instance, for unflavoured yogurt, butter, compote, pasta, simple bread, honey, water and fruit juice. In other categories, usually those concerning highly processed foodstuffs – such as confectionery, snacks, sauces and flavoured drinks – a large number of additives are authorised.

“Any initiative that helps educate and enlighten consumers is to be welcomed,” says an FAIA spokesman.

This legislation does just that, while helping to reinforce the message that authorised additives are not only safe but also play a key role in food safety.