International regulatory and policy consultancy EAS will host its first European workshop for the year on Feb. 6 in Brussels. The workshop, titled EU Health Claims rules and national market practice: Dealing with the present - planning for the future, will cover topical issues on health claims. In view of the recent publication of the proposal for a revised novel food Regulation and the high level of interest this has generated from industry, the workshop has now been widened to include a dedicated session to this novel foods proposal.
The new session will consist of substantial analysis of the new EU novel food proposal and its potential consequences for research, innovation and product marketing. Patrick Coppens, director of international food and health law and scientific affairs at EAS, remarks "in contrast to the current novel foods definition, the categories of novel foods are no longer a criterion, but examples. The Regulation now makes it a legal obligation for companies to verify whether or not the food which they intend to place on the market falls within its scope." He highlighted that "if they are unsure, they are obliged to consult a Member State. When requested, they must provide information on the basis of which the Member State will be able to determine the extent to which the food in question was used for human consumption in the EU before May 15, 1997."
EAS experts Patrick Coppens and Stefanie Geiser, with more than 20 years of experience in European food law between them, will focus the other workshop sessions on practical issues for health claims in the EU. This includes detailed guidance, impact analysis, information on timings, flexibility of wording for claims, as well as lessons and strategies for the successful use of health claims. Case studies including national examples will address the enforcement approaches in different EU Member States of the claims Regulation, which has now been in application for over a year.
The workshop will also highlight the pitfalls that the EU claims Regulation has created, update attendees on the current widened list of permitted Article 13.1 claims and of course the status of claims that are still ‘on hold’. In addition, Coppens and Geiser will guide attendees through the successes and failures of Art 13.5/14 submissions that have already undergone EFSA assessment, and the lessons to be learned from them.
“We have decided to hold this workshop for businesses to get the concrete advice they need to understand and apply health claims in the EU,” Stefanie Geiser, EAS regulatory affairs manager, said.