EFSA updates advice for applicants seeking approval of health claims
Posted: 20 January 2016 | Victoria White | No comments yet
As well as revising the general scientific guidance, EFSA has updated its specific guidance for claims related to the immune system and the gastro-intestinal tract…
The voice of the consumer has been neglected when it comes to choosing the way health claims are formulated.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has updated its advice for applicants seeking approval of health claims made on food products.
As well as revising the general scientific guidance, EFSA has updated its specific guidance for claims related to the immune system and the gastro-intestinal tract.
Commenting on the new guidance, Valeriu Curtui, head of EFSA’s Nutrition Unit, said: “Because of the scientific and technical complexity of applications on health claims, it has always been a priority for EFSA to develop clear criteria for the substantiation of health claims and guidance for those submitting such claims.
“The updated guidance documents will give applicants a better understanding of the step-by-step approach followed by our nutrition experts and help them to decide what type of claim they wish to submit given the data available to them.”
Examples now guide applicants on the requirements for substantiation
The two documents now include a detailed explanation of each step of the evaluation with guidance on the main steps and scientific aspects which applicants should consider when preparing an application. They also include an explicit differentiation between the principles applied to the evaluation of health claims based on the essentiality of nutrients and those applied to other claims. The documents have examples of applications evaluated with both positive and unfavourable outcomes.
EFSA’s Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies says it decided to revise the guidance documents in light of the experience it has gained in evaluating nearly 3,000 “general function” claims and more than 250 other applications over the past few years. It says it was also responding to requests from stakeholders for greater clarity on general issues common to all claims and, in particular, claims related to gut and immune function.