EBF Presents the Facts on Botanicals

The European Botanical Forum (EBF) has released its first fact file as an illustrative communication tool to underline the history and role of plants and botanicals in nutrition, in light of the growing popularity of botanical food supplements on the European market.

Titled “An introduction to the role, safety and benefits of botanical food supplements”, the fact file aims to correct some commonly-held misapprehensions about botanical food supplements, and offers a comprehensive overview of all aspects related to the use of these ingredients in food supplements. It includes chapters on benefits, safety and quality, and brings together scientific, regulatory and practical information on their current use, showing the extensive legislation that covers these products to ensure consumers have safe and useful products to supplement their diet.

“Advances in research and technology have meant that the health-promoting benefits of botanicals can be captured, preserved and presented in a convenient form that can be made widely available,” said Manfred Ruthsatz, EBF Chairman. “The development of botanical food supplements enables an ever-growing number of consumers in our increasingly urbanised society to safely and easily use botanicals to both maintain and optimise their health.”

“Botanical food supplements and herbal medicinal products follow two distinct and separate legal frameworks, hence fully justifying their co-existence side by side,” Dr. Ruthsatz said. Countering popular misconceptions on botanical food supplements he added: “This fact file clarifies and shows that the extensive regulatory framework for botanical food supplements is fully adequate to ensure their safety and quality. Botanicals have a long history of providing health benefits and are subject to regulations which specifically require that the claims made are not misleading and can be scientifically substantiated.”

The EBF was founded in 2004 by the European food supplements sector. Its main goal is to encourage expert debate among industry, government and the scientific community on issues affecting botanical foods supplements. It works to determine the optimum methodology for the safety assessment of botanicals; to clarify the borderline between the medicinal use of botanicals and the food use of botanicals, and to substantiate health claims for botanicals.

To find out more about the European Botanical Forum Fact File or to obtain a copy e-mail info@botanical-forum.be or call the EBF on (+32) 2 209 11 50.

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