Discussion Forum provides platform for industry to debate regulatory challenges

The pros and cons of the European Union’s steps towards finalising significant new regulations will be on debate at next month’s Vitafoods International Discussion Forum in Geneva.

Senior industry representatives will discuss and address how the future regulatory framework will shape the market for fortified foods and supplements; whether or not European legislation is making it easier for companies to be globally competitive, and the way in which individual companies are responding to the drive by European and global authorities for healthier foods to made more available to consumers.

This year’s panellists will include Bas van Buijtenen, Vice President Europe, Middle East, Africa Human Nutrition and Health at DSM Nutritional Products Europe Ltd; Hartwig Sievers from the management board of Phytolab, the research centre for German plant extracts group Martin Bauer; Gert Krabichler, Chairman of European trade organisation, the European Responsible Nutrition Alliance (ERNA); and Simon Pettman, Director of international food and nutrition policy consultancy EAS. Members of the audience will also be given the opportunity to address questions to the panel.

Mr Pettman said: “The Vitafoods discussion forum is a once a year chance to address the big challenges that are being faced by the sector. There have been many regulatory developments in the European Union to date, and this will translate into fundamental change over the next couple of years. It will have a huge impact on the industry.”

The forum, which is organised by EAS and Vitafoods International, draws together more than 200 manufacturers and distributors each year to voice their concerns and get clarification on regulatory requirements for key issues in the sector, such as issues relating to novel foods, maximum levels, and the use of other ingredients in food supplements and fortified foods.

Previous panellists have included the European Commission, the European Botanical Forum and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

“Over the last decade there has been huge progress and far more open discussions in terms of the basis for legislation in the EU,” said ERNA Chairman Gert Krabichler. “But the reality is that some see the coming legislation as putting burden after burden on industry, from innovation and development to marketing products and consumer information. In ERNA, we continue to challenge regulators to compile the available science within the legal frame of EU.”

The Vitafoods Discussion Forum will take place from 09.00-10.30 on Thursday May 8 at the Geneva Palexpo building.

EAS provides strategic consulting advice on European, Asian and international regulation on food and nutritional products. It provides companies with regulatory and strategic advice for the marketing and approval of their products in Europe and Asia. EAS also advises governments, trade associations and companies on the impact of European, Asian and global policy.

EAS has offices in Brussels, Italy and Singapore. EAS Italy is a branch of EAS located in northern Italy to follow EFSA developments in Parma closely.

For more information on EAS Europe contact EAS, 50 Rue de l’Association, 1000 Brussels, tel: (+32) (0) 2 218 14 70, email [email protected] or visit www.eas.eu For information on EAS Asia contact EAS Strategic Advice Pte Ltd, 3 Killiney Road, 07-04 Winsland House I, Singapore 239519, tel: (+65) 68 38 12 70, email: [email protected] or visit www.eas-asia.com

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