Scientific Opinion on the Substantiation of a health claim related to Iron and cognitive development of children pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006
Following an application from the Association de la Transformation Laitière Française (ATLA) submitted pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 via the Competent Authority of France, the Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies was asked to deliver an opinion on the scientific substantiation of a health claim related to iron and cognitive development of children. The scope of the application was proposed to fall under claims referring to children‟s development and health. The food constituent that is the subject of the health claim is iron which is a well recognised nutrient and is measurable in foods by established methods. The Panel considers that the food constituent, iron, which is the subject of the health claim, is sufficiently characterised. The Panel considers that normal cognitive development is beneficial to children‟s health. The applicant provided also a number of reviews and reports on the biological functions of iron including cognitive function and cognitive development of children. The Panel considers that there is sufficient evidence from reviews, consensus opinions and from reports from authoritative bodies demonstrating the role of iron in the cognitive development of children. The Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has been established between the intake of iron and cognitive development of children and adolescents. Iron intakes may be inadequate in sub-groups of children and adolescents in some EU countries. The following wording reflects the scientific evidence: “iron contributes to normal cognitive development of children”.