With only months to go before the deadline for adding nutrients to the Food Supplements Directive?s positive list, the UK Health Food Manufacturers Association (HFMA) reports that at least 34 nutrients have dossiers ready or nearly ready for submission. Few others are expected to be submitted by the July 12 cut-off date.
The number of submissions is more than many industry observers had expected, although nowhere near the 270 nutrients some predict could be wiped out from Europe?s more liberal markets.
Dossiers will be presented to the European Commission, which passes them on to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for assessment. While this process takes place, nutrients can remain on the market if granted a derogation by an individual member state. EFSA has until December 2009 to deliver its safety verdicts on the nutrient dossiers for passage into European law — or banishment from all EU markets.
HFMA technical adviser Michael Evans said it was unlikely many more dossiers would be submitted, although the exact number was hard to predict. ?Some companies are producing dossiers but not telling anyone about it, especially in the US,? he said. ?This is creating a situation where manufacturers in the UK and other European markets are reformulating products to take out ingredients they believe will be banned, when in fact some of those ingredients may have dossiers in preparation for them. Companies should declare what they are doing.?
Peter van Doorn, president of the Natural and Health Products Association of the Netherlands (NPN), said the dossier scheme his association instigated last year was assisting compilation and submission of about 10 nutrient dossiers. These have been included in the HFMA list.
?The project is progressing well, but it is a confidential project because of the money paid by the participating companies,? van Doorn said. ?We are trying to find ways to share the information with other national associations. Once we reach agreement, all EU member states will be able to take advantage of the Dutch work.?