Food supplement companies that struggle to navigate the EU and national maze of regulations, can get clear, actionable advice at the upcoming EAS Strategic Advice workshop in Brussels.
Taking place on March 17, 2015, the EAS workshop entitled “Building Strategies for Marketing Food Supplements in the EU: Get prepared for a successful product launch!” will cover in detail the applicable EU and national rules on active ingredients, labelling and claims.
As a special feature, Joris Geelen from the Belgian Ministry of Health will present the latest developments on the BELFRIT harmonisation project, for the evaluation of the use of botanicals in food supplements. Mr. Geelen is an expert on the legislation of botanicals, responsible for botanical dossiers, and for the coordination of the Belgian Advisory Commission on botanicals. Since the launch of the BELFRIT project, he is the representative for Belgium within this project.
EAS experts Efi Leontopoulou, Katarina Wagner and Stefanie Geiser will be there to guide participants step-by-step through EU-wide and national processes for launching food supplements, from product classification advice, the use of vitamins, minerals and other ingredients including botanicals, to novel foods.
Sessions will also be dedicated to the impact of the Food Information to Consumers (FIC) Regulation on food supplement labels and Top 10 practical questions on the use of Health Claims.
“Almost 13 years after the adoption of the EU Food Supplement Directive providing an important first step towards harmonisation, the regulatory landscape for food supplement products is still embedded within a complex maze of EU and national legislation ” said Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Manager Efi Leontopoulou. “Understanding EU and national ingredient classifications and borderline issues, is therefore key to overcoming the challenges companies may face to market a food supplement across the EU.”
To help participants find strategies through this maze, the EAS workshop will focus on how solutions can be found in terms of classification difficulties; mandatory and optional harmonised rules; maximum levels for vitamins and minerals; rules relating to other ingredients, including botanicals; and the current and upcoming revision of the EU Novel Foods Regulation.
“Since the start of application of the majority of labelling provisions in the EU FIC Regulation on 13 December 2014, companies must ensure their labels comply with the major provisions relevant for food supplements” said Nutritional Products Regulatory Affairs Manager Katarina Wagner.
The EAS workshop will therefore provide practical guidance on the specific application of the EU FIC Regulation provisions to food supplement labelling, by highlighting which information is mandatory or voluntary. Furthermore, the use of specific labelling statements, including examples of additional national statements or national approaches for using specific terms, such as ‘natural’ will also be covered.
“Companies still face difficulties to apply the theory of health claims in practice, and understand the risk of challenges for their product claims on the national markets,” said Regulatory Affairs Manager Stefanie Geiser.
A special session on the Top 10 practical questions on Health Claims will help to clarify these issues. The questions will be addressed and illustrated by specific product case studies to provide practical advice on the most recent interpretations.