Nearly 70 representatives from EU Member States, consumer organisations, industry bodies and the European Commission met to exchange views with EFSA and its experts on the Authority’s draft risk assessment of caffeine. The meeting was organised as part of EFSA’s public consultation on the document, which closes on 15 March.
EFSA scientists explained the scope, methodology and main conclusions of the assessment before giving the floor to speakers from the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), the UK Food Standards Agency, the European Consumers' Association, European Coffee Federation, FoodDrinkEurope and Energy Drinks Europe.
The rest of the meeting, which was held in Brussels, was devoted to sessions on: adverse effects of caffeine after a single dose and after repeated doses consumed within a day; adverse effects of long-term consumption of caffeine on the central nervous system and the cardiovascular system; and adverse effects of long-term consumption on pregnancy outcomes.
Valeriu Curtui, head of EFSA’s Nutrition Unit, said: "This was a very useful meeting which helped us to identify those parts of our assessment which are not fully understood by some stakeholders or where we need to better explain ourselves. All the contributions made today will be considered by our experts in preparing the final opinion."
The draft risk assessment of caffeine is on the agenda for the next meeting of EFSA's Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies, which is open to the public and will be held in Leuven, Belgium, from 23-24 April. Registration for the meeting opens on 9 March.