Scientific advice on human nutrition
Note: This article is part of the Special Issue: Scientific achievements, challenges and perspectives of the European Food Safety Authority: Taking stock of the 10 years activities and looking ahead
Over its first three mandates the EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA Panel) has provided scientific advice on a range of issues related to human nutrition. The scientific outputs adopted over this time are summarised within the six main areas within the remit of the Panel: (i) tolerable upper intake levels for nutrients; (ii) safety of novel foods; (iii) food allergens; (iv) dietetic products; (v) population reference intakes for nutrients; and (vi) nutrition and health claims on foods. The scientific advice of the Panel was provided mainly in response to requests from the European Commission and applications for authorisation of novel foods, health claims and for exemption from allergen labelling. The outputs of the Panel have been extensively used by the European Commission and Member States in the implementation of European Union (EU) policy and legislation. In addition, some of the scientific opinions assess key elements of the evidence on nutrition in obesity and other diet related diseases and are an important source of scientific advice for policy makers who wish to address these important issues in public health. Throughout the different areas of its work, the Panel has placed considerable focus on consultation with stakeholders. In the area of health claims in particular, EFSA has had continuing consultation with stakeholders in developing extensive guidance for applicants. This article summarises the nature of the advice provided by the Panel, its regulatory context and how it is applied in the implementation of EU policy and legislation.