The novel food catalogue has been published

26.6.2008

<div>The European Commission has published on their internet pages the novel food catalogue, where products or other ingredients of plant or animal origin are classified, based on the information available on their history of use. Novel foods are foods that have not been used for human consumption to a significant degree within the Community before the Novel Food Regulation (EC) 258/97 came into force on 15.5.1997. Novel foods require authorisation and they must undergo a safety assessment before being placed on the market. </div>

The products in the novel food catalogue are divided into four different categories based on their history of use:

1)      products of which it is known that they have been used as a food or food ingredient within the area of the European Community to a significant degree before 15.5.1997;

2)      products of which it is known that they have been used as or in food supplements in the area of the European Community before 15.5.1997 (note that the expansion of the use to other foods require novel food authorisation)

3)      products of which there is no knowledge of a history of use as a food or food ingredient in the area of the European Community before 15.5.1997, and which are considered to be products that require novel food authorisation; and

4)      the user history of the product in the area of the European Community has been discussed, but a final classification has not yet been made, as it requires further information.

Even though some products have a history of use as a food or food ingredient in some EU member countries, the food business operator has reason to take into account any national regulations limiting the use. In some Member Countries the product can be considered medicinal, for example.

The novel food catalogue is a “living” data base

The novel food catalogue is intended to be an indicative source of information on the history of use of the product. The classification is based on the discussions undertaken by the Novel Foods Experts Group, which is subject to the Commission, and on the information the task force had at their disposal at the time. Members of the Novel Food Expert Group are various experts on novel foods from the EU Member States. The classification of the products may change if new reliable information emerges on the history of use. If a food business operator has information on the history of use of products classified in the catalogue as novel foods, they are requested to approach Food Safety Authority Evira.

Evira considers it a serious fault if a product considered a novel food is placed on the market if an authorisation has not been applied for in accordance with the Novel Food Regulation and the safety has not been assessed. The discovery of an unauthorised novel food on the market will lead to a request for clarification. If the food operator can not demonstrate the history of use of the product, they will have to withdraw the product from the market, as the safety of the product as food has not been ascertained.

The novel food catalogue published by the European Commission: http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/biotechnology/novelfood/nfnetweb/index.cfm

For more information please contact:
Senior Officer Sari Sippola (until 30.9), tel. +358 20 77 24283
Senior Officer Sanna Viljakainen (from 1.10), tel. +358 20 77 24291

 

 

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