~European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) Concludes Reducol(tm) Safe for Foods~
Vancouver, BC -- Forbes Medi-Tech Inc. (TSX:FMI; NASDAQ:FMTI) announced today that a report was issued by the EFSA concluding that Forbes' cholesterol-lowering ingredient, Reducol(tm), be accepted for use in foodstuffs provided total phytosterol intakes do not exceed 3 g/day.
The positive report is in response to the Company's application for use of the Reducol(tm) ingredient in milk-based drinks. This is a significant first step in a three-part process to allow the Company to sell its cholesterol-lowering ingredients in Europe. The second step is the approval and publishing of labeling regulations for phytosterol products by the European Commission and the last step is the approval of Reducol(tm) for use in specific food matrices by the Commission.
"This report is a major breakthrough," said Charles Butt, President and CEO of Forbes Medi-Tech Inc. "We believe that Europe offers a substantial opportunity for Forbes' cholesterol-lowering ingredients due to the distinct marketing advantage of our non-GMO sourced sterols," said Butt.
Phyto-Source LP, Forbes' 50-50 manufacturing joint venture, is currently the world's largest manufacturer of non-genetically modified
(GMO) sourced sterols. The European market has demonstrated a preference for ingredients from non-genetically modified sources. The Company expects part of the recently announced increase in manufacturing capacity (See news release dated December 9, 2003) to be apportioned to the anticipated growth in demand for its sterol products once the pending labeling regulations and product approvals are in place.
About Forbes Medi-Tech Inc.
Forbes Medi-Tech Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the research, development and commercialization of innovative prescription pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular and related diseases. Forbes' scientific platform is based on core sterol technology. By extracting plant sterols from by-products of the forestry industry, Forbes has developed cholesterol-lowering agents for use in pharmaceutical compounds, functional foods and dietary supplements.