Food Law News - EU - 2000

FSA Letter, 24 July 2000

PARNUTS - Commission Directive on Substances that may be Added for Specific Nutritional Purposes in Foods for Particular Nutritional Uses

The letter is to inform people that, subject to minor textual amendments, this directive was agreed at the Standing Committee for Foodstuffs held on 26 June. A copy of the latest version of the proposals is attached for information and the agreed changes to the text were as follows:

Article 1: Paragraph 3 will be prefaced with the wording "Without prejudice to the provisions of Directive 258/97,"

Article 3: The text at paragraph 3 will be added to paragraph 2.


The directive will now be adopted by the Commission and the final text published in the Official Journal of the European Communities. Twenty days after publication the directive will enter into force. The UK is required to introduce regulations implementing these rules into law within 12 months of this date, but products which do not comply with the provisions of the directive may continue to be sold until 36 months after the entering into force date.

These rules will apply to all foods for particular nutritional uses covered by directive 89/398/EEC, including those for which specific directives will, or may, be developed in the future i.e. sports and diabetic foods. Although the types of sports foods which will be covered by future legislation has yet to be defined, carbohydrate rich energy foods marketed specifically for consumption before, during and after exercise, and protein supplements for body builders and strength athletes are likely to be included. The extent to which sports supplements and electrolyte drinks will be covered is not yet known but they too are expected to be included.

The Commission recognises that the existing list of nutritional substances is incomplete and has invited interested parties to submit proposals to extend it. Such requests will be evaluated by the Scientific Committee for food (SCF) and must be supported by relevant information and scientific data. Advice on the rules and the content of these dossiers may be obtained from the Commission Services. The Commission intends to amend the directive before the final effect date to include those substances which the SCF consider acceptable. Manufacturers of products, such as sports foods which contain nutritional substances not included in the Annex to the directive but who are unsure about whether their products will be subject to future legislation, may wish to submit dossiers or take further advice from the Commission.

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