European Commission publishes roadmap to evaluate regulation on health and nutrition claims.

  • As part of its policy to promote “better regulation,” the European Commission recently announced its plan to evaluate two aspects of Regulation 1924/2006/EC on nutrition and health claims:  (1) nutrient profiles; and (2) the use of claims on plants and their preparations.
  • To this effect, the Commission has published a roadmap describing the steps that the Commission will take in this area and the timeline for the evaluation.  Nutrient profiles are thresholds of nutrients such as fat, salt, and sugars.  If a food exceeds those thresholds, nutrition and health claims are restricted.  The Commission was due to establish the nutrient profiles by January 19, 2009, but this has not yet happened.  Now, the Commission wants to analyze whether such profiles should be established at all.  In the case of claims on plants, the Commission will examine whether the current rules are adequate and will consider how the use of such claims interacts with the current applicable food regulatory framework on plants and their preparations.
  • The Commission is accepting feedback on the roadmap and its structure via a dedicated web page until November 5, 2015.  The roadmap also contemplates two consultations on this topic in the second half of 2016: one of the consultations will be an open public consultation while the other will target stakeholders.  Consumer organizations already have provided feedback strongly criticizing the Commission for announcing the roadmap and calling on the Commission to start developing the nutrient profiles rather than questioning their legitimacy.