Breaking News on Food Marketing and Retailing

Headlines > Products & Marketing

EFSA gut/immune health meeting

Danone tells EFSA: Health claims “learning experience” is too costly

By Shane Starling , 07-Dec-2010

Loading...

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has repeatedly emphasised that the 2006 EU nutrition and health claims regulation is a learning experience for everyone involved – from its health claims assessment panel to industry stakeholders, to the member states and the European Commission.

That may be so, but it is a highly expensive learning process, with the greatest burden of cost being borne by industry players like Danone, the company’s vice president of research and development in its dairy division, Frederic René, said after EFSA’s gut/immune function meeting in Amsterdam last week.

With Danone having twice submitted and then withdrawn dossiers for its probiotic yoghurts Actimel and Activia, citing a lack of clarity from EFSA at the time of both withdrawals, René said EFSA needed to be more communicative with applicants.

He said it was not acceptable that EFSA undertook its learning process by analysing dossiers and publishing opinions on them.

“It’s a trial and error process and I don’t think it is the right way to make a learning process.”

Like several others at the meeting, he proposed pre-screening of dossiers by EFSA’s Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) panel, a proposal NDA chief, Professor Albert Flynn, said was unlikely due to a lack of resources.

Lack of depth and precision

René said he was disappointed by the lack of specific guidance forthcoming at the meeting, save for some advice on clinical outcomes.

“In fact there is nothing really new,” he said. “We need to be more precise and maybe go in depth as proposed by many of the people attending the meeting.”

He said the situation remained unclear as to when health claim submissions for Activia and Actimel may be formally submitted to the process for a third time.

Related products

Bread innovation needed amid carb, additive backlash: Mintel

Additives and carb backlash stumps bread innovation, says Mintel

Stephanie Pauk and Pam Yates

Analysts, Mintel

Mooted novel food changes will open exotic fruit doors in EU

Mooted novel food changes will open exotic fruit doors in EU

Dr John Wilkinson

Consultant and EU Novel Foods expert

Snacks and candy blur: NPD and retail fueling, says NCA

Is that a snack or a candy? ‘It’s so blurred now’, says NCA president

Snacks and confectionery have truly blurred from a product perspective and retail slant, says...

EU-backed metabolic syndrome project has health claim wins in sight

EU-backed metabolic syndrome project has health claim wins in sight

Nick Henson

Associate director, International Food Network (IFN)

High-protein bread could bake up a storm: Euromonitor

High-protein bread could bake up a storm: Euromonitor

Diana Cowland

Senior Analyst, Health & Wellness, Euromonitor International

Bakeries struggling with calls to cut salt, sugar and fat

Bakeries struggling with calls to cut salt, sugar and fat

Manufacturers of baked goods are reaching a point where calls to cut salts, fats...

Fed up: Probiotic research veteran issues global call to action

Fed up: Probiotic research veteran issues global call to action

Veteran probiotic researcher professor Gregor Reid is not a happy man. It’s time the...

Irish firm offers (cheaper) heat resistant probiotics for infant formula

Irish firm offers (cheaper) heat resistant probiotics for infant formula

Sinéad Doherty, PhD

Founder, AnaBio Technologies

Tesco soft drinks buyer warns brands PowerPoint can be painful

'PowerPoint can be painful!’ Tesco soft drinks buyer warns entrepreneurs

The head of Tesco’s soft drinks buying team David Beardmore has urged aspiring brands...

Breakfast cereal decline: Mintel talks opportunities, challenges

Crunch time: Is breakfast cereal doomed to sink?

The global breakfast cereal market faces increasing competition as consumers turn to convenient alternatives,...

Beauty chocolate: Astaxanthin in functional confectionery

Beauty chocolate: Algatechnologies touts red seaweed for functional confectionery

Efrat Kat

Director of marketing and sales, Algatechnologies

Keeping it clean: 3 botanical chiefs pull adulteration weeds

Keeping it clean: 3 botanical chiefs pull adulteration weeds

Antoine Bily, Naturex global R&D director

Christian Artaria, Indena marketing director, Holger Riemensperger, Frutarom general manager,...

Functional confectionery: What does the future hold?

Which big player will be first on functional confectionery scene?

Adrian Sagman

Vice president of international sales and marketing, Carmit Candy

EU supplements sector presses on for EU botanical acceptance

EU supplements sector presses on for EU botanical acceptance

Alban Maggiar

Chairman, European Health Product manufacturers’ Association (EHPM)

Global probiotics business is booming, while Europe focuses on blends and 'piggybacking'

Global probiotics business is booming, while Europe focuses on blends and 'piggybacking'

Strong growth in the Americas and Asia is helping the probiotics industry to strong...

Nutritional snacks? Manufacturers misread consumers, says Datamonitor Consumer

Nutritional snacks? Manufacturers misread consumers, says Datamonitor Consumer

Nutritious snacks have not boomed because manufacturers overwhelmed consumers in a category where indulgence...