Gut and immune function health claims guidelines for EU updated
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has launched an open consultation on its updated draft Guidance on the scientific requirements for health claims related to the gastro-intestinal tract, the immune system, and defence against pathogenic micro-organisms.
EFSA said the guidance, which was first published in 2011, is intended to assist applicants in preparing their applications for the authorisation of health claims related to the gastrointestinal tract, the immune system, and defence against pathogenic microorganisms. It includes examples from past and ongoing evaluations to illustrate EFSA’s approach to evaluating health relationships and outcome variables which may be acceptable in these areas, as well as the conditions under which they may be acceptable.
Revision includes new scientific evidence
The revised Guidance document takes into account the outcome of a previous public consultation on a discussion paper together with new scientific evidence available to the NDA Panel and the experience gained to date with the evaluation of health claim applications in the areas of the gastro-intestinal tract, the immune system, and defence against pathogenic micro-organisms.
The Guidance presents examples drawn from evaluations to illustrate the approach of the NDA Panel in the evaluation of health relationships and outcome variables which may be acceptable in these areas, as well as the conditions under which they may be acceptable. EFSA said a better understanding of the NDA Panel approach could help applicants in preparing applications on health relationships and related outcome variables.
In line with EFSA’s policy on openness and transparency and in order for EFSA to receive comments from the scientific community and stakeholders, EFSA has launched a second public consultation on the draft document developed by the NDA Panel of EFSA.
Interested parties are invited to submit written comments by 23 March 2015.
EFSA said it would assess all comments from interested parties which are submitted in line with its submission criteria. The comments will be further considered by the relevant EFSA Panel and taken into consideration if found to be relevant.
All comments submitted will be published. Comments submitted by individuals in a personal capacity will be presented anonymously. Comments submitted formally on behalf of an organisation will appear with the name of the organisation
Gut function and immune system health claims in Australia
In Australia, the Food Standards Code allows several health claims about digestive enzymes, laxative effects and metabolism of different nutrients, as well as claims for support of the immune system. However, none of these claims are allowable on behalf of probiotic food products, only on behalf of vitamins, minerals and fibre.
The allowable health claims in Australia include:
- Contributes to the normal function of digestive enzymes
- Necessary for normal immune system function
- Necessary for normal energy metabolism
- Contributes to normal immune system function
- Contributes to normal energy metabolism
- Contributes to regular laxation