12 January - 20 June 2016

Legislation headlines

  • EFSA consultation on guidance for health claims related to antioxidants, oxidative damage and cardiovascular health
  • The Council of the European Union contribute towards halting the rise in Childhood Overweight and Obesity
  • Approving non-minor amendments to the specification for a name entered in the register of protected geographical indications (Tomme de Savoie (PGI))
  • Entering a name in the register of protected designations of origin (Malatya Kayısısı (PDO))
  • Entering a name in the register of protected geographical indications [Kiełbasa biała parzona wielkopolska (PGI)]
  • Application for amendments to the product specification of a Protected Designation of Origin (‘Quartirolo Lombardo’ (PDO))
  • Application for entering a name in the register of protected geographical indications ‘Kiełbasa piaszczańska’ (PGI)
  • Amendment to a specification in the Register of Protected Designation of Origin in the wine sector (Vacqueyras (PDO))
  • Application for approval of a minor amendment to a specification in the Register of Protected Geographical Indications ‘Carota Novella Di Ispica’ (PGI)
  • Opinion of the European Committee of the Regions —An EU strategy on alcohol-related issue
  • Recent unauthorised health claims
  • Amendment regarding organic silicon (monomethylsilanetriol) and calcium phosphoryl oligosaccharides (POs-Ca®) added to foods and used in the manufacture of food supplements
  • Scientific opinions

EFSA consultation on guidance for health claims related to antioxidants, oxidative damage and cardiovascular health
The original guidance was published in 2011 and since then EFSA’s Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) has gained additional experience in the evaluation of claim applications related to antioxidants, oxidative damage and cardiovascular health. Taking into account this experience, and additional information collected through a grant launched in 2014, the panel decided that a number of key aspects needed further clarification. Interested parties are invited to submit their written comments by 3 September 2017.

The Council of the European Union to contribute towards halting the rise in Childhood Overweight and Obesity
Since 2000, the Council of the European Union has underlined the importance of promoting healthy lifestyles, namely through nutrition and physical activity.  The council has recalls a number of initiatives including EU Action Plan on Childhood Obesity 2014-2020 which recognises the beneficial impact of health promotion and disease prevention on both citizens and health systems and the importance of a healthy diet and physical activity promotion in reducing the risk of chronic conditions and non-communicable diseases.  It recognises that childhood obesity is a major challenge and that childhood obesity is a strong predictor of adult obesity with well-known health and economic consequences.  Obesity in European children is strongly related to the socioeconomic status of their parents: parents in lower socioeconomic groups are more likely to be overweight. Existing policies to promote health, prevent overweight and obesity with the aim of halting the rise in childhood obesity have not been sufficiently effective. No single action is enough to address childhood obesity and suggests further research is needed to better understand the drivers of childhood overweight and obesity.  The council notes that education is important at school on healthy diets and physical activity. There is ample evidence to justify more effective actions on marketing of foods which are high in energy, saturated fats, trans-fatty acids, sugar and salt. The council invites member states to for example.

  • integrate in their national action plans, strategies or activities on nutrition and physical activity, cross-sectoral measures aimed at tackling childhood obesity, focusing not only on health promotion and disease prevention but also on those children and adolescents who are already overweight or obese
  • Develop specific dietary guidelines for children and adolescents which address both those with healthy weight and those who are overweight or obese (including portion size)
  • Develop national specific guidelines to encourage daily physical activity
  • reduce the overall amount and persuasive power of food marketing communications targeted at children and adolescents
  • Engage with food producers, retailers and the catering sector to encourage food improvement, in line with health sector guidelines.

Its also calls on members states and the commission to make tackling of childhood overweight and obesity a priority of the European Union and lays down a number of actions to help with meeting this.

Approving non-minor amendments to the specification for a name entered in the register of protected geographical indications (Tomme de Savoie (PGI))
The amendments to the specification published in the Official Journal of the European Union regarding the name ‘Tomme de Savoie’ (PGI) have been approved. 

Entering a name in the register of protected designations of origin (Malatya Kayısısı (PDO))
Turkey's application to register the name ‘Malatya Kayısısı’ was published in the Official Journal of the European Union. As no statement of opposition has been received by the Commission, the name ‘Malatya Kayısısı’ should therefore be entered in the register.

Entering a name in the register of protected geographical indications [Kiełbasa biała parzona wielkopolska (PGI)]
Poland's application to register the name ‘Kiełbasa biała parzona wielkopolska’ was published in the Official Journal of the European Union . As no statement of opposition has been received by the Commission, the name ‘Kiełbasa biała parzona wielkopolska’ should therefore be entered in the register.

Application for amendments to the product specification of a Protected Designation of Origin (‘Quartirolo Lombardo’ (PDO))
Italy have made a number of amendments to the application for protected designation of origin for Quartirolo Lombardo, a soft table cheese made from raw or pasteurised cow’s milk from at least two milkings.  Amendments have been made to the product description, product method, link and labelling.

Application for entering a name in the register of protected geographical indications ‘Kiełbasa piaszczańska’ (PGI)
Poland have applied for ‘Kiełbasa piaszczańska’ to be enter in the register of protected geographical indications.  ‘Kiełbasa piaszczańska’ is pork sausage which is semi-dry cured in a marinade of herb stock and rock salt, coarsely chopped with a firm consistency, and contained in protein casings.  The sausage has a number of physical, chemical and organoleptic characteristics.  

Amendment to a specification in the Register of Protected Designation of Origin in the wine sector (Vacqueyras (PDO))
France has sent an application for amendment of the specification for the name ‘Vacqueyras’ in accordance with Article 105 of Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013. Amendments have been made to rule relating to vine varieties to be planted, cultivation methods, and analytical standards.

Application for approval of a minor amendment to a specification in the Register of Protected Geographical Indications ‘Carota Novella Di Ispica’ (PGI)
Italy have sent an application for approval of amendments to the specification of Carota Novella Di Ispica in the Register of Protected Geographical Indications.  Amendments have been made to production method, and link.  Carota Novella di Ispica’ PGI (protected geographical indication) is the product obtained by growing the species Daucus carota L. The varieties used are based on the Nantes half-long carrot variety and appropriate hybrids such as Exelso, Dordogne, Nancò, Concerto, Romance, Naval, Chambor and Selene.

Opinion of the European Committee of the Regions —An EU strategy on alcohol-related issue
The European Committee of the Regions has published in the Official Journal of the European Union, an opinion on requirements for EU action on alcohol related issues. Included in the opinion is a need to define ‘excessive’ consumption, ‘harmful’ consumption and ‘abusive’ consumption using scientific criteria, observe the effects of alcohol on social costs, health and wellbeing, improve public health and promote and prevent health risks amongst others.  The opinion also notes future action on alcohol related issues such as producing a new EU alcohol related strategy, include recommendations and good examples of what can be done to strengthen national, regional and local activities, and reduce the exposure of children and young, under-aged people to marketing and advertising for alcoholic drinks.

Recent unauthorised health claims

  • Ecopharma BVBA, submitted a health claim related to Fabenol® Max, a standardised aqueous extract from Phaseolus vulgaris L., and the reduction of the absorption of carbohydrates. The claim proposed by the applicant was worded as follows: ‘Fabenol® Max reduces the absorption of carbohydrates’. The EFSA published a response to the health claim, noting that the claimed effect was not sufficiently defined and that the applicant did not provide any further information as requested by the Authority. Therefore, on the basis of the data presented, the Authority concluded that a cause and effect relationship had not been established between the consumption of Fabenol® Max and the claimed effect.
  • Following an application from DSM Nutritional Products, EFSA was required to deliver an opinion on a health claim related to docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and improvement of memory function. The claim proposed by the applicant was worded as follows: ‘DHA contributes to improved memory function’. The EFSA concluded that, on the basis of the data presented, a cause and effect relationship had not been established between the consumption of DHA and the claimed effect. Accordingly, as the claim does not comply with the requirements of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006, it should not be authorised.
  • Following an application from Tate & Lyle PLC the EFSA was required to deliver an opinion on a health claim related to polydextrose and normal defecation. The claim proposed by the applicant was worded as follows: ‘Polydextrose contributes to an improved bowel function by increasing stool bulk’. Authority, which concluded that, on the basis of the data presented, a cause and effect relationship had not been established between the consumption of polydextrose and the claimed effect.
  • Following an application from Granarolo S.p.A., the EFSA was required to deliver an opinion on a health claim related to a low-fat fermented milk with a combination of fructooligosaccharides and live Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (ATCC 53103), Streptococcus thermophilus (Z57) and Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus (LB2), and defence against reactivation of Herpes simplex virus in the orolabial epithelia. The claim proposed by the applicant was worded as follows: ‘Consumption of low-fat fermented milk with a combination of fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) and live Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (ATCC 53103), Streptococcus thermophilus (Z57) and Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus (LB2) helps to reduce recurrence of lip cold sores caused by Herpes simplex virus infection in healthy susceptible individuals’. The Authority, which concluded that, on the basis of the data presented, a cause and effect relationship had not been established between the consumption of the low-fat fermented milk, which was the subject of the health claim, and defence against reactivation of Herpes simplex virus in the orolabial epithelia.
  • Following an application from Food for Health Ireland, EFSA was required to deliver an opinion on a health claim related to FHI LFC24, a bovine milk-derived casein hydrolysate, and a reduction of post-prandial blood glucose responses. The claim proposed by the applicant was worded as follows: ‘FHI LFC24 helps to regulate blood glucose levels following food consumption’.  The Authority, which noted that the evidence provided by the applicant does not establish that a reduction in post-prandial glycaemic responses achieved by an increase in insulin secretion is a beneficial physiological effect for the target population of the claim. The Authority concluded that a cause and effect relationship had not been established between the consumption of the food subject to the claim and a beneficial physiological effect for the target population.
  • Following an application from Pierre Fabre Medicament, the EFSA was required to deliver an opinion on a health claim related to V0137, a ‘DHA-enriched fish oil’, and ‘helps to slow the age-related cognitive decline in domains such as memory and executive function’. The claim proposed by the applicant was worded as follows: ‘V0137, in association with physical and intellectual training, helps to slow the age-related cognitive decline in domains such as memory and executive function’. The scientific opinion from the Authority, concluded that, on the basis of the data presented, a cause and effect relationship had not been established between the consumption of V0137, which was the subject of the health claim, and a reduced loss of cognitive function. Accordingly, as the claim does not comply with the requirements of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006, it should not be authorised.

Amendment regarding organic silicon (monomethylsilanetriol) and calcium phosphoryl oligosaccharides (POs-Ca®) added to foods and used in the manufacture of food supplements
Following a request for the addition of calcium phosphoryl oligosaccharides (POs-Ca®) as a source of calcium to the list set out in Annex II to Directive 2002/46/EC and to the list set out in Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 1925/2006, on 26 April 2016 the Authority adopted a Scientific Opinion on the safety of calcium phosphoryl oligosaccharides (POs-Ca®) as a source of calcium added for nutritional purposes to food, food supplements and foods for special medical purposes.  It follows from that opinion that the addition of calcium phosphoryl oligosaccharides (POs-Ca®) to food and its use in food supplements is not of a safety concern as a source of calcium, provided that certain conditions are respected. Taking into account the Authority's favourable opinion, calcium phosphoryl oligosaccharides (POs-Ca®) should be included in the list set out in Annex II to Directive 2002/46/EC and in the list set out in Annex II to Regulation

Scientific opinions

Pest categorisation of Dendroctonus micans

Pest categorisation of Anthonomus signatus

Scientific opinion on an application for renewal of authorisation for continued marketing of maize 59122 and derived food and feed submitted under articles 11 and 23 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 by Pioneer Overseas Corporation and Dow AgroSciences LLC

Re-evaluation of konjac gum (E 425 i) and konjac glucomannan (E 425 ii) as food additives

Re-evaluation of tara gum (E 417) as a food additive

Re-evaluation of glutamic acid (E 620), sodium glutamate (E 621), potassium glutamate (E 622), calcium glutamate (E 623), ammonium glutamate (E 624) and magnesium glutamate (E 625) as food additives

Public health risks associated with hepatitis E virus (HEV) as a food-borne pathogen

Ad hoc method for the assessment on listing and categorisation of animal diseases within the framework of the Animal Health Law

Re-evaluation of pectin (E 440i) and amidated pectin (E 440ii) as food additives

Pest categorisation of Spodoptera frugiperda

Pest categorisation of Ips typographus

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