Food Law News - EU - 2001

FSA Letter, 30 January 2001

PARNUTS - Commission Directive on substances that may be added for specific nutritional purposes in foods for particular nutritional uses

The letter is to advise people that an amended version of this proposal was agreed by Member States at the Standing Committee for Foodstuffs meeting held on 14-15 December 2000.

Member States agreed an earlier text of this proposal (SANCO.02- BM/cv) in June last year. The Commission's Legal Services subsequently identified a problem with the proposed Article 2 of that text. That text has now been deleted. A copy of the deleted text; the latest version of the proposal (SANCO/996-3/00); and the reason for the change (SANCO/4020/2000, plus Corrigendum document) are available from the FSA.

The purpose of the original proposed Article 2 was to give Member States powers, pending a Community decision, to suspend or restrict trade in foods for particular nutritional uses which in their view contain nutritional substances that are unsafe or do not fulfill the particular nutritional requirements of the persons for whom they are intended. The amendment has no practical effect because Directive 89/398/EEC on foods for particular nutritional uses, and specific directives made under this directive, provide equivalent powers.

Once the Commission has adopted the revised directive it will be 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 national regulations to implement these rules into 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.

The Commission recognises that the list of nutritional substances needs to be updated (paragraph 4 & 5 Explanatory Memorandum). It has invited interested parties to submit details of additional substances that should be added to the list, together with relevant information and scientific data, for evaluation by the Scientific Committee for Food (SCF). Advice on dossier content and how to submit may be obtained from the Commission Services (contact details below). The Commission intends to amend the directive before the final effect date to include those substances that the SCF considers acceptable. The FSA recommend that dossiers should be submitted to the Commission as soon as possible.

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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