Regulatory News

EFSA rejects Unilever black tea health claim

18 Jan 2018 --- The European Food and Safety Authority (EFSA) has rejected a health claim regarding black tea’s effects on the maintenance of normal endothelium-dependent vasodilation in adults. The application, submitted for authorization of a health claim pursuant to Article 13(5) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 by Unilever, pertained to “black tea beverages, either freshly prepared or reconstituted from water extract powders of black tea, characterized by the content of flavanols (expressed as catechins plus theaflavins) of at least 30 mg per 200 ml serving.” 

Dutch doctors call for energy drinks ban for under 18s, Negative health effects reported in Canadian youth

16 Jan 2018 --- Calls for a ban on the sale of energy drinks to under 18s have intensified in the Netherlands. Pediatricians are once again arguing for a ban on the sale of energy drinks to young people under the age of eighteen. The Dutch Society for Pediatrics says it is treating more and more young patients who report with symptoms such as restlessness, fatigue and cardiac arrhythmia. A ban is highly unlikely, however, with the Dutch Ministry of Health responding dismissively to the calls.

EFSA more than doubles safe levels for 3-MCPD in vegetable oils and food

15 Jan 2018 --- The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has increased safe levels of the food processing contaminant 3-MCPD by two and a half fold, from the 2016 Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) of 0.8 micrograms per kilogram of body weight to 2.0. The revision comes after EFSA experts used an updated scientific approach to reassess the possible long-term adverse effects of 3-MCPD on the kidney and male fertility. 

Nutrition industry “feels positive” about new EU rules for novel foods: survey

19 Dec 2017 --- According to research by the organizers of Vitafoods Europe, many people working in the nutrition industry feel positive about the EU’s new process for the approval of novel foods. However, experts are warning that there could be adverse implications for some companies’ intellectual property portfolios. The new regulations on novel foods, defined as anything without a significant history of consumption in the EU before 15 May 1997, come into force on 1 January 2018. For the first time, the approval system will be centralized, with applications submitted to the European Commission rather than individual member states.

Synthetic antioxidant l-ergothioneine safe as a novel food for pregnant women and children: EFSA

24 Nov 2017 --- The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) has concluded that synthetic l-ergothioneine is safe under the proposed uses and use levels for the groups of the population which had been excluded by the applicant in the original application. Following a request from the European Commission, EFSA confirmed the safety of the powerful antioxidant for groups including infants, young children (i.e. toddlers), pregnant women and breastfeeding women.

Roadmap: Researchers publish recommendations for successful EU health food claims

14 Nov 2017 --- Researchers have developed recommendations to help food companies successfully substantiate new health claims in the EU. During this study, published in the highly regarded Trends in Food Science & Technology, researchers from the University of Surrey worked with investigators in Slovenia and Denmark as part of the REDICLAIM project. Together, they clarified the process of attaining approval for new health claims on food products.

Some infant rice cereals contain elevated methylmercury levels, study finds

26 Oct 2017 --- Eating large amounts of certain fish can expose consumers to methylmercury, which can potentially cause health problems. But recent research has shown that rice grown in polluted conditions can also have raised levels. A study appearing in the Americal Chemical Society’s (ACS) Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reports that some types of infant rice cereal could also contain amounts of methylmercury that could potentially pose a health risk.

ID Nutra’s satiety product gets EFSA novel food nod

28 Sep 2017 --- The thirst and hunger suppressing specimen H. parviflora, marketed by ID Nutra as SatiPlus, has been approved as a novel food by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The product’s potential benefits include a host of advantages related to weight loss and metabolism.

SNAP judgment says US nutrition assistance program falls short of providing healthy diet for all

11 Sep 2017 --- The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, only covers 43 to 60 percent of what it costs to consume a diet consistent with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) MyPlate guidelines for what constitutes a healthy diet. This is according to a new study from North Carolina State University (NC State) and the Union of Concerned Scientists, which lays out in stark terms the challenges lower-income households face in trying to eat a healthy diet.

Benefits of early introduction of peanuts to infants recognized as health claim by US FDA

11 Sep 2017 --- The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has made a statement on a new qualified health claim advising that early introduction of peanuts to certain high-risk infants may reduce the risk of peanut allergy. It has responded to a petition for a new claim that states, “for most infants with severe eczema and/or egg allergy who are already eating solid foods, introducing foods containing ground peanuts between 4 and 10 months of age and continuing consumption may reduce the risk of developing peanut allergy by 5 years of age.”

TSI’s manufacturing license for HMB approved in China

21 Aug 2017 --- TSI Group (TSI) has announced the approval of the first and only CFDA (China Food and Drug Administration) Manufacturing License for beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) production in China. TSI’s Jiangyin Pharmaceutical facility, a wholly owned TSI Group company, received this exclusive license to produce HMB for use in Chinese food products.

Cutting calories now “critical” to UK childhood obesity strategy

18 Aug 2017 --- The health agency Public Health England (PHE) has shifted its focus away from solely targeting sugar to cutting excess calorie consumption from all sources in its anti-obesity strategy for children in the UK. “A third of children leave primary school overweight or obese and an excess of calories – not just excess sugar consumption – is the root cause of this,” says Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive of PHE. “We will work with the food companies and retailers to tackle this as the next critical step in combating our childhood obesity problem.”

US FDA grants clearance for the use of Verdeca’s HB4 stress-tolerant soybeans in human food

11 Aug 2017 --- Arcadia Biosciences Inc. and Bioceres S.A. have announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has completed its full review of the safety evaluation for HB4 soybeans, produced by their joint venture, Verdeca. The FDA’s notice to Verdeca allows products derived from HB4 soybeans to be used commercially in human food and animal feed. 

Report notes 50 percent increase in calls to US poison control centers over supplement use

11 Aug 2017 --- A study into dietary supplement exposures in the US has found that there was an overall 50 percent increase in the rate of calls to poison control centers about exposure to dietary supplements from 2000 through 2012. Most of the exposures were found to occur in children younger than 6 years old, raising concerns about the safety of keeping certain dietary supplements around children.

EFSA updates dietary reference values for riboflavin

08 Aug 2017 --- The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has set updated dietary reference numbers for riboflavin (vitamin B2) as part of its review of scientific advice on nutrient intakes. The research, requested by the European Commission and published in the EFSA Journal on 7 August, updates population reference intakes (PRIs) for adults, children and pregnant and lactating women.

Cargill’s erythritol dental health claim rejected by EFSA

27 Jul 2017 --- Cargill cannot prove its EU Article 14 claim submission [disease risk reduction claim] that there is a cause-and-effect relationship between sugar-free hard confectionery with at least 90 percent erythritol and the reduction of dental plaque, according to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

US: Should federal health agencies accept funding from big soda?

26 Jul 2017 --- Newly appointed director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, is in the spotlight as one of the key US health officials recently hired by the Trump administration. Why? Because when she was the health commissioner for Georgia – which has one of the highest rates of childhood obesity in the US – she accepted funding from Coca-Cola to run an exercise program designed to get children to lose weight.

EU presidency discussions consider policy for alcohol labeling

26 July 2017 --- Estonia intends to address cross-border alcohol policy issues, including the labeling of alcoholic beverages, as one of the priorities of its presidency of the EU. The labeling issue is an important part of its goal to reduce alcohol-related harm in Europe, according to World Health Organization (WHO) Europe.

FSA sets out plans for food regulation to meet modern market needs

21 Jul 2017 --- The Food Standards Agency (FSA) in the UK has published the department's plans to change food regulation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, particularly in the post-Brexit UK. Its plans include taking the burden of regulation off businesses that do the right thing for consumers and adjusting to the modern food marketplace.

EFSA Maintains 1993 Dietary Reference Values for Vitamin K

23 May 2017 --- The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has decided to maintain the dietary reference values (DRVs) for vitamin K set in 1993. During a 6-week public consultation launched earlier this year to collect feedback from the scientific community and any interested parties on the draft Scientific Opinion on DRVs for vitamin K, EFSA received 43 different submissions with comments from 10 interested parties. After reviewing and addressing these comments, it decided to maintain the 1993 DRVs.