EU novel foods overhaul gets cautious welcome

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

Novel foods: applications will now be submitted to the European Commission
Novel foods: applications will now be submitted to the European Commission

Related tags: Novel foods, European union, European commission

The EU’s new centralised process for the approval of novel foods has been welcomed by the food industry – but there are fears over the implications on intellectual property.

In a move intended to streamline the process, applications for novel foods will now be submitted to the European Commission rather than individual Member States.

Also, authorisations will be generic, meaning that once a novel food is approved, it will in most cases, be authorised for anyone to market.

Disincentive to invest

However, this would not incentivise companies to invest in many safety investigations around the product, warned Patrick Coppens, director of scientific and regulatory affairs at Food Supplements Europe.

“It will depend on what they can do to protect their intellectual property. If the return on investment is not certain, there will be some companies that don’t invest,”​ he explained.

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