EU Regulatory developments could play role in defining international trends

Europe is fast becoming the world’s leading exporter of regulation as authorities in many countries increasingly look for models on which to base their legislation, a food policy expert has said.

Speaking at the Vitafoods International Discussion Forum in Geneva on Thursday 8 May, Simon Pettman, Director of international food and nutrition policy consultancy EAS, said that with international regulators now more closely monitoring developments in the EU, such as the Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation and the Commission’s new labelling proposal, ‘getting it right’ in Europe is essential.

At the forum Mr Pettman interviewed three leading experts on the key regulatory issues facing Europe – Bas van Buijtenen, head of DSM activities in Human Nutrition and Health in Europe, Middle East and Africa; internationally renowned scientist David Richardson; and Gert Krabichler, Chairman of the European Responsible Nutrition Alliance (ERNA).

“Good regulation is easy to enforce,” Mr Pettman said, “Poor regulation is often unenforceable. Regulators are out there looking for answers, and much of the future of this sector rests on providing workable advice and solutions. The food sector has to get better at sharing information, science and ideas. Only if we are sharing globally, will we come up with solutions to be presented to these regulatory bodies.”

The forum highlighted the top five regulatory areas of concern in Europe – the pending 2010 list of approved nutrition and health claims; the setting of maximum levels of vitamins and minerals; the imminent Commission paper on the future of botanical ingredients and other substances; revision of the novel foods regulation, and the new labelling proposal, with key issues being mandatory front-of-pack nutrition labelling and the surprisingly large new minimum 3mm font size.

The annual Vitafoods Discussion Forum was attended by over 200 people. After the panel interviews attendees were given the opportunity to put their questions and concerns surrounding EU regulatory developments to the expert panel.


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 Europe 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) 2 218 14 70, email [email protected] or visit 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

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