Food supplements should be exempted from nutrient profiling, trade organisation EHPM has said, as the European Food Safety Authority prepares its opinion on the system’s feasibility.
The European Federation of Associations of Health Product Manufacturers (EHPM) said that the system, which determines what foodstuffs will be prohibited or further restricted from making nutrition or health claims based on their sugar, fat and salt content, should not apply to food supplements since the levels of these substances are generally absent or very low.
The concept of nutrient profiling was introduced to address concerns that health claims on foods high in these substances would lead to more consumption and contribute to rising obesity levels.
The system is currently being assessed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), who will provide its opinion to the European Commission by the end of January next year.
“The setting of nutrient profiles is a very complex, highly contentious matter,” said EHPM Chairman Peter van Doorn. “EFSA is still determining which food categories will be subject to the system, but we trust they will agree that food supplements should be exempted.”
“Even in the case of supplements such as fish oils which have a high fat content we believe the exemption should remain, because food supplements are generally not seen as the main contributors to the normal diet,” he said.
EHPM, which represents more than 2000 specialist health product manufacturers across Europe, joined scientists and stakeholders at an EFSA scientific colloquium in Parma in October to discuss the various aspects of nutrient profiles.
The system is expected to be in place by the beginning of 2009.
The European Federation of Associations of Health Product Manufacturers (EHPM) was created in 1975, working to provide consumers with safe, science-based, high quality products as well as accurate and helpful information about their nutritional value and use.
To contact EHPM email [email protected], tel + (32) 2 209 11 45, or visit www.ehpm.org