EFSA puts heads together for novel foods guidance

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Novel foods, European union, European food safety authority

EFSA is to bring together experts on novel foods and manufacturers at an event that will help it put together guidance for future applicants under the revised legislation.

The original novel foods regulation came into effect in 1997. Under this, foods and food ingredients that have no history of safe use in the EU before 15 May 1997 may not be place on the market before they have gone through an approvals process. Once the first approval has been granted, subsequent applicants can apply for approval on the grounds of substantial equivalence.

However the regulation is currently being revised, partly because there are some new and emerging technologies such as nanotechnology that need to be taken into consideration.

The regulation has also come in for criticism since approvals can take a long time to come through, which can have an impact on the competitive of the European food sector. It has been proposed that the updated regulation should contain a system for assessing foods that already have a safe history of use outside the EU.

The revision is still making its way through the law making process in Europe, but the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) expects that it will be asked to give scientific and technical advice on how applications should go about their applications in the future.

To prepare for this, it is hosting a colloquium in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in November, where experts and other interested parties will be able to share views on several important topics.

Participants – whose number is limited to 100 – will be divided into discussion groups covering: history of (safe) use and traditional foods from outside the EU; data requirements on anticipated intakes and maximum levels; issues of absorption, distribution, metabolism; excretion, toxicology; and allergenicity; data requirements for demonstrating safety of foods derived from nanotechnology.

The groups will report back at a final plenary session, and the conclusions will be summarised in a post-meeting report. The issues raised will then serve as important input for EFSA in formulating its guidance.

Interested parties may register until 9 October, subject to space.

More information is available at http://www.efsa.europa.eu/EFSA/efsa_locale-1178620753812_1211902675847.htm

Related topics: Policy

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