EFSA to examine European dietary guidelines

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags European union European commission Nutrition Efsa

The European Commission has asked the European Food Safety
Authority (EFSA) to provide food-based dietary guidelines intended
for the European population as a whole, it emerged last week.

EFSA will conduct an open debate, due to take place in March this year, in order to examine the translation of nutrient based recommendations for a healthy diet into food based recommendations.

Around 100 nutrition experts are to take part in the colloquium, including representatives from national food authorities worldwide, said EFSA in a statement on Wednesday.

"The objective of the colloquium is to have an open debate on the state-of-the-art of scientific approaches being the basis for the development of food-based dietary guidelines (FBDG),"​ it said.

"The advantages and limitations of various approaches for the development of FBDG will be reviewed,"​ it added.

During the two-day colloquium, experts will examine specific aspects of approaches for the derivation of FBDG, including food choice and dietary behaviour and the consideration of the development of FBDG for different population groups, such as children and the elderly.

"The colloquium will allow us to supplement existing scientific data and to prepare an opinion in order to respond to the EC,"​ EFSA spokesperson Alun Jones told FoodNavigator.com.

"We are the assessors. The EC will have to examine our results and decide how to implement them,"​ he said.

Indeed, on January 1 the EU issued a large updated body of food and feed legislation, a complementary set of rules to tighten and harmonise EU food safety measures.

These laws apply at every point in the food chain, in line with the EU's 'farm to fork' approach.

"The New Year brings a new level of protection for EU citizens as these food and feed safety rules become applicable,"​ Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection Markos Kyprianou had said.

"Consumers can be confident that the best possible food safety practices are now being applied at every step in the production chain. This legislation also offers benefits to food businesses and to our trading partners, by clarifying and simplifying the rules they must comply with".

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