MEPs slam Commission’s health claims plans

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags European parliament European commission

The Comission should rethink its health claims proposals, a group of MEPs has urged
The Comission should rethink its health claims proposals, a group of MEPs has urged
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have objected to the European Commission’s (EC's) proposal for an approved list of Article 13.1 claims, urging more consideration of what should be included in the list.

They argue that the substantiation of Article 13.1 claims is pharmaceutical in nature, ignoring the fact that nutrients are foods rather than drugs.

Sirpa Pietikäinen, Finnish centre right MEP, said that a consequence of the positive list is the publication of the so-called union register of rejected claims. “This negative register could include a number of claims that should have been approved but have not due to an inappropriate and disproportionate evaluation procedure,” ​she said.

“Such is the case for fibre, which claims to help maintain normal bowel function and regularity – a well acknowledged claim.”

Appropriately implemented

Pavel Poc, Czech socialist MEP, said “The European ombudsman is currently looking into whether the health claims regulation has been appropriately implemented by the European Commission. We would like the permitted list of claims to be reconsidered.”

He also urged the Commission to withhold publication of the union register of negative claims, at least until the European ombudsman has expressed an opinion.

The EC has submitted a draft list of approved claims to the Parliament for scrutiny. If the Parliament does not block the list by April 27 2012, it will be deemed to have been approved and published mid- to late May 2012.

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