The end may be nigh for scores of health claims

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Armageddon may be approaching for scores of functional ingredients from omega-3s to probiotics on September 30 as the European Food Safety Authority...

Armageddon may be approaching for scores of functional ingredients from omega-3s to probiotics on September 30 as the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) publishes its first opinions on more than 500 'article 13.1' health claims.
Article 13.1 claims are based on 'generally accepted science' and cover the role of nutrients in the body ('calcium is necessary for the normal structure of bone').
As only a fraction of claims submitted under other articles of the Regulation have gained positive opinions, however, many observers predict the article 13.1 list could also be decimated.
What remains unclear is whether unsuccessful applicants can simply reapply under article 13.5 of the Regulation, said Adam Ismail at omega-3 trade body GOED. 13.5 covers claims based on new/emerging science or proprietary data and requires applicants to submit a dossier of supporting evidence. "13.5 may be one route to ensure the full weight of scientific evidence is considered appropriately," he said. "However, since our studies were already submitted to support 13.1 claims, it would be difficult to demonstrate they are 'new' for the purposes of article 13.5 claims."
Frustratingly, firms were not allowed to submit dossiers analysing the clinical studies supporting article 13.1 claims, but only lists of academic references, said Ismail. "EFSA would have had to put extraordinary effort into analysing the lists.
"It's very unlikely they would have the resources to do the work they expect applicants to do for the thousands of claims they received. We tried to get dossiers to them in multiple ways, but it is unclear whether or not they ever reached EFSA."
He added: "Late in the process, EFSA also said 'maintenance' claims would be disallowed because they are not measurable."