EFSA issues first opinions on health claim applications
Following the publication of EFSA's opinion, the processing of the applications is referred to the Commission, which prepares a draft decision and submits it to the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health for an opinion. The Standing Committee consists of representatives of the Member States and is chaired by a representative of the Commission. The decisions are published in the Official Journal of the EU and the claims are included in the Community list of permitted claims. Where EFSA issues an opinion that does not support the inclusion of the claim in the list and the application has not included a request for protection of proprietary data, the applications are also forwarded to the European Council and the Parliament for processing. Rejected claims are also included in the Community list of claims as unauthorised claims.
EFSA to issue opinions on claims at high pace
EFSA has so far received already some 220 health claim applications, which either refer to the reduction of a disease risk or to children's development and health, or are function claims based on newly developed scientific evidence and/or claims including a request for the protection of proprietary data. EFSA has to issue an opinion on the applications within five months. This time limit may be extended if EFSA requires supplementary information to be submitted by the applicant.
In addition to the applications referred to above, EFSA has by the end of July received from the Commission a list of almost 3000 function claims that refer to the normal functioning of the human body, to weight loss, psychological functions or behaviour. These claims have been collected from the markets of the Member States and EFSA has to issue an opinion on the scientific substantiation of these claims by 31 January 2010, before the Commission can approve their inclusion in the Community list of permitted claims.
EFSA's opinions on health claim applications http://www.efsa.europa.eu/EFSA/ScientificPanels/NDA/efsa_locale-1178620753812_Opinions465.htm
Information on nutrition and health claims (in Finnish) http://www.evira.fi/portal/fi/elintarvikkeet/valvonta_ja_yritt__j__t/ravitsemus-_ja_terveysvaitteet/
For more information, please contact: Ms. Sari Sippola, Senior Officer, tel. +358 (0) 20 77 24283