Nearly 200 representatives from the food and drink industry, academia, Member States and the European Commission, attended a meeting in Amsterdam to discuss with EFSA experts the scientific requirements for health claims related to gut and immune function.
Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 harmonises the provisions that relate to nutrition and health claims and establishes rules governing the Community authorisation of health claims made on foods. According to the Regulation, health claims should be only authorised for use in the Community after a scientific assessment of the highest possible standard to be carried out by EFSA.
EFSA and its Scientific Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) have been engaging in consultation with stakeholders and have published guidance on scientific substantiation of health claims since 2007. Most recently, a briefing document on scientific evaluation of health claims was published for consultation in April 2010, followed by a technical meeting with experts from the food industry, Member States and the European Commission in Parma, in June 2010. In addition, information on the scientific requirements for the substantiation of specific types of health claims may be obtained from EFSA’s scientific opinions on health claims.
To further assist applicants in preparing and submitting their applications for the authorisation of health claims, EFSA will organise a series of public consultations and scientific meetings on the scientific requirements for the substantiation of specific types of health claims during 2010-2012.
The overall aim of the consultations will be to provide additional guidance to applicants for the substantiation of health claims in selected areas.
This first consultation will focus on health claims related to gut and immune functions.
Objective of the meeting
The main objective of the meeting is to discuss with scientific experts in the field the scientific requirements for the substantiation of health claims related to gut and immune functions. Specific issues addressed will include:
- Which claimed effects are beneficial physiological effects?
- Which studies/outcome measures are appropriate for the substantiation of function claims and disease risk reduction claims?
Structure of the technical meeting
The meeting will focus on the NDA Panel draft guidance document on the scientific requirements for health claims related to gut and immune function, which is available on the EFSA website for public consultation. Comments received during the public consultation, together with the draft guidance document will be presented by EFSA’s experts for discussion at the technical meeting. Before its adoption by the NDA Panel the draft guidance will be revised taking into account the meeting’s discussions and the comments during received during the public consultation.
- Public consultation on a draft EFSA guidance on the Scientific requirements for health claims related to gut and immune function
Who should attend the scientific meeting?
The scientific meeting is intended for scientific experts in the field of health claims related to gut and immune functions. In order to ensure thorough discussion, the number of participants will be limited. If the meeting is oversubscribed, participants will be selected on the basis of their experience in the field, taking into account the need for an appropriate range of expertise to be represented in the meeting.
Webcast and documents
 European Parliament and Council (2006). Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods. Official Journal of the European Union OJ L 404, 30.12.2006. Corrigendum OJ L 12, 18.1.2007, p. 3–18.