EFSA conference on nutrition and health claims
The EFSA Conference on Nutrition and Health Claims formed part of EFSA’s increasing activities in the field of nutrition, which has been identified by its Management Board as one of the six key priorities for the upcoming years. Moreover, in the context of the major public health challenge of preventing obesity and other diet-related chronic diseases in Europe, which requires evidence-based policies and programmes, the adopted Community Regulation on Nutrition and Health Claims made on Foods1 is a key part of policy response. The Claims Regulation is also an opportunity for EFSA to act as an independent European scientific authority in nutrition. EFSA welcomed the opportunity provided by this Conference to have an in-depth dialogue between experts, be they interested parties or stakeholders.
The EFSA Conference aimed to achieve a better understanding of the fundamental scientific role of EFSA in the context of the newly adopted Claims Regulation particularly on issues related to the scientific substantiation of health claims and nutrient profiling, and it was therefore organised to provide ample opportunity for an interactive exchange of expert views and experiences. To that end the Conference was sufficiently informal to allow for substantial debates, which were structured under break-out discussions for participants to freely bring forward their views, reach conclusions and make constructive recommendations, as appropriate. This Conference on Nutrition and Health Claims was the first, but not the last to be organised by EFSA in the context of the Claims Regulation. In line with our policy on openness, follow-up consultations with interested parties and stakeholders are foreseen.
The objectives of the Conference were:
- (i) to explain EFSA’s scientific role in the context of the new Regulation;
- (ii) to listen carefully to all experts from Member States, non-member countries, academia, stakeholders, European Commission and Parliament;
- (iii) to exchange views, experience, preferences, and; (iv) to have an open debate and discuss issues such as the scientific substantiation of health claims and nutrient profiles.
Leng Heng at: leng.heng [at] efsa.europa.eu