Supplements regulations get healthy airing at Brussels event

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: European food, European union

Twenty European and American companies heard presentations from
three food law experts and participated in a lively floor debate
and Q&A session at a recently held one-day event in Brussels
designed to give "practical tips on mastering the European food
supplement market".

The event, hosted by international food and nutrition policy consultancy EAS, also sought to develop "strategic solutions towards launching products in Europe's diverse marketplace." "With the right combination of knowledge, flexibility and strategic thinking, it's quite possible to overcome the regulatory challenges to marketing products across the whole of the EU,"​ said Mr Lagae. "Oftenthe differences in the regulatory requirements for most countries in Europe are not as substantial as are widely thought."​ Given their predominance in European food law since the deadline for submissions passed on January 31, health claims unsurprisingly topped the agenda with many questions raised about Article 13 claims and whether submissions can still be made. "The liveliest debate definitely hinged around health claims,"​ EAS regulatory adviser, Pieter Lagae, told "Companies are concerned about what the passing of the deadline means for existing claims and future claims. They want to know how to submit and prepare claims based on new scientific evidence or proprietary data, especially now that the deadline for inclusion in the Article 13 claims list has passed."​ Upper safe levels for vitamins and minerals were another area that drew a lot of attention from attendees. "The lack of harmonisation on maximum levels of vitamins and minerals requires a thorough exploration of national regulations across Europe,"​ Lagae said. The event, called 'Building a Regulatory Strategy for Marketing Food Supplements in Europe: The key steps to a successful product launch'​ also scrutinised the step-by-step process for launching food supplements in the European market, product entrance strategies, advice on regulations for nutritional and herbal ingredients, labelling, as well as an assessment of different Member State distribution policies, market practices and controls. EAS stated: "Participants were given an updated analysis of some of the most significant regulatory developments in the EU, such as the European Food Safety Authority's (EFSA) recently issued guidance document on the safety of botanicals; changes to article 18 health claims rules; the European Commission's action to compile a single article 13 health claims list for EFSA evaluation, and the ongoing discussions surrounding maximum levels for vitamins and minerals." ​ A second instalment of the event with a similar agenda will be held on April 3, again in Brussels, with the number of participants again limited to 25. For more information email jbexfubc@rnf.rh​ or register at

Related topics: Dairy-based ingredients

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