EU Member States’ commented for the first time on the Commission’s discussion paper on health claims on botanicals used in food. The Commission summarised its paper indicating that the question was how to deal with the different treatment of botanicals under the nutrition and health claims Regulation EC 1924/2006, in comparison to the Directive on Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products.
Option 2 of the paper proposes a ‘traditional use’ approach to assessment of health claims on botanicals in foods, including food supplements, as an alternative to the current assessment which is used for all other substances such as vitamins and minerals. Adopting this approach could lead to the development of new, specific legislation for botanicals in foods, covering health claims and could include other information to consumers, safety and quality criteria.
Overall, the meeting yielded an interesting but inconclusive discussion.