The European Botanical Forum (EBF) this month launched an official website to help shed light on scientific and technological advancements for botanical ingredients commonly used in food supplements.
With botanical ingredients gaining more importance in food supplements and foods across the European Union, www.europeanbotanicalforum.org has been set up to help professionals, scientists, regulators and consumers understand the regulatory background for botanicals and keep up to date with advances in research and technology.
It explains the current EU regulatory framework for ensuring the safety and quality of botanicals, gives an overview of their long history of health use, highlights the importance of botanical health claims and gives references to general information on botanicals and relevant legislation.
“The EBF aims to encourage expert debate on botanical food supplements among industry, governments and the scientific community based on accurate, up-to-date and factual information,” said Manfred Ruthsatz, EBF Chairman. “Considerable misconceptions exist in relation to botanical food supplements. Some think that botanical food supplements lack a regulatory framework sufficient to ensure their safety and quality; others think they should be regulated as medicines or that they make misleading and exaggerated claims that are not scientifically substantiated. In reality, botanical food supplements are heavily regulated products. We felt that an overview of the most important aspects of the usefulness of such products and the extent to which they are regulated would be very helpful.”
The EBF was founded in 2004 by scientific experts from the European food supplements sector. Its main goals include determining the best safety assessment methodology for botanicals; clarifying the borderline between the medicinal and food use of botanicals, and the substantiation of botanical health claims. The European Botanical Forum Fact File on botanical food supplements can be downloaded from the website.
Notes to Editors:
1. The European Botanical Forum aims to consolidate the efforts undertaken by national associations and individual companies to work to protect national systems currently in place, contribute to the creation of appropriate national systems where not currently in place, and build a pan-European system for the trade of herbs under food law.
2. For more information contact Patrick Coppens, European Botanical Forum, 50 Rue de l’Association, 1000 Brussels, tel: (+32) (0)2 209 11 50, www.europeanbotanicalforum.org.