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EFSA health claim opinions

EFSA approves iodine, iron, vitamin C infant health claims

By Shane Starling+

14-Jan-2014

SNE: “There have already been a number of similar claims relating to adults approved by the EC and European Parliament so we see no issues arising here for infants.”

SNE: “There have already been a number of similar claims relating to adults approved by the EC and European Parliament so we see no issues arising here for infants.”

The European Food Safety Authority has approved a raft of claims for under-3s including iodine and thyroid and cognitive function; vitamin C and iron absorption; and iron and haemoglobin formation.

The four infant-focused claims were submitted via French authorities in 2008 when the EU nutrition and health claims regulation (NHCR) came into being and were part of a batch of 58 mostly vitamin and mineral claims put together by Specialised Nutrition Europe (formerly IDACE).

Some of those other article 14 claims (relating to children) remain in the system awaiting adjudication by EFSA’s Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA).

SNE president Roger Clarke got in touch this morning and welcomed the opinions which he said, “reflected a large number of claims submitted in 2008 that are important to the specialised nutrition industry on behalf of infants and young children. We are very pleased they have been approved.”

Clarke foresaw no hurdles when the opinion arrived at the European Commission committee level for debate among representatives of the European Union’s 28 member states.

“There have already been a number of similar claims relating to adults approved by the EC and European Parliament so we see no issues arising here for infants.”

The article 14 claims in short...

Iodine and thyroid function

The NDA said iodine, as it had concluded in an earlier opinion for adults, could contribute to normal functioning of the thyroid in 0-3 year-olds.

“The Panel considers that the role of iodine on normal thyroid function applies to all ages, including infants and young children (from birth to three years). The Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has been established between the dietary intake of iodine and contribution to normal thyroid function.”

The opinion can be found here .

Iodine and normal cognitive development

Iodine, already backed for its importance in both physical and mental development was backed for under-3s too.

“The Panel notes the well established role of iodine in preventing iodine deficiency disorders such as retarded mental and physical development in children and adolescents, and impaired mental function and reduced cognitive capacity for people of all ages.”

“The Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has been established between the dietary intake of iodine and contribution to normal cognitive development.”

The opinion can be found here .

Vitamin C and increasing non-haem iron absorption

The NDA backed its previous positive opinion among adults for the role of vitamin C to boost the uptake of the less bioavailable iron form typically found in non-meat sources.

The opinion can be found here .

Iron and haemoglobin

Again the Parma-based agency backed SNE’s submission iron was necessary for infants in keeping their circulation healthy.

“The Panel considers that the role of iron in normal formation of haemoglobin and red blood cells applies to all ages, including infants and young children (from birth to three years).”

The opinion can be found here .

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