Three years late and seeking further extensions, nutrient profiles remain the missing link in the European Union’s new health claim regime. Frustrated stakeholders say the time to decide is nigh.
With more than 200 health claims set to enter record books this year, the biggest food players are being joined by health NGOs like the British Heart Foundation in calling time on the protracted and what they say are damaging deliberations that are creating confusion about which products may carry approved claims.
PepsiCo Europe regulatory affairs director, Dr Natalia Douek, said industry needed certainty about claim-making – and now – and welcomed noises from the European Commission that an economic impact assessment was imminent.
“We are really operating in a legal vacuum,” Dr Douek said.
Dr Mike Rayner, the director of the British Heart Foundation Health Promotion Research Group, said EU lawmakers should dispense with their own mooted models and adopt one that had proved successful elsewhere like France and Australia.
“Instead of starting from scratch they should be reviewing some limited numbers of options and testing out those options,” Dr Rayner said.