Press release: National Food Agency warns about illegal noni products
The safety assessment stipulated in the EU Novel Food Regulation is required of products made of noni before they can be legally marketed within the Union. So far a safety assessment has only been made on noni juice, for which a marketing permit was granted in 2003. After that, many substantially equivalent noni juices have been introduced to the market by virtue of the Novel Food Regulation. Applications that concern a noni powder and noni tea have also bee submitted to the EU, but the review of these applications has only just started. In addition, the European Food Safety Authority is about to conduct a new safety assessment on noni juice.
In Finland, several illegal noni products, on which the regulatory safety assessment has not been made, have been offered for sale. Toward the end of 2005, several different noni extracts were found in the market. However, the operators withdrew these after being contacted by the authorities. In the recent months, the National Food Agency has received information that attempts have been made in Finland to start network marketing of new noni extracts and other noni products.
There may also be a small amount of noni capsules in Finland, marketed before the requirement for a safety assessment on new ingredients in food supplements was enforced. The authorities did not earlier intervene in the introduction of noni capsules to the market, as it happened during a phase when no harmonised regulations on food supplements existed. The situation has now been clarified in the EU, and companies that market noni capsules were informed already in the summer of 2005 that new batches of the capsules may not be offered for sale until a safety assessment is performed on the products. The Customs control that no more noni capsules are imported in Finland from outside the EU.
More information on novel foodstuffs is available on the Internet site of the National Food Agency at www.elintarvikevirasto.fi > Yrittäjälle > Uuselintarvikkeet .
For more information, please contact Ms. Sirpa
Sarlio-Lähteenkorva, Senior officer at the National Food Agency,
tel. +358 (0) 9 393 1543 and as far as import control is concerned,
Ms. Katri Hyysalo, Product Safety Manager at the National Board of
Customs, tel. +358 (0) 2049 23218.