Food Law News - UK - 2004

FSA News Item, 30 September 2004

NOVEL FOODS - Noni juice application

The Agency has received an application for an opinion on the equivalence of the novel food noni juice to a product already on sale.

Before any new food product can be introduced on the European market it must be rigorously assessed for safety. In the UK, the assessment of novel foods is carried out by an independent committee of scientists appointed by the Food Standards Agency, the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP). This application is made under the Novel Foods Regulation (EC) No 258/97.

The company, Natures Products, is making this application on the grounds that it is the sole supplier of Cook Island noni juice to a company that has already had noni juice approved for sale in the European Union.

Noni juice comes from the fruit commonly known as 'noni'. But it's also known as 'Indian mulberry' and 'nonu'. It is believed to have originated in Southeast Asia and to have been distributed subsequently by ancient voyagers or other means into the Pacific islands, including Tahiti and Hawaii. The plant is also found in India, Africa and the West Indies. It resembles a small evergreen shrub or tree that grows from three to six metres. Its fruit are green until maturity, when they rapidly turn to a light yellow and then a translucent white.

Any comments on this request for an opinion should be sent to the ACNFP Secretariat by 22 October 2004 and will be passed to the Committee before it finalises its opinion.

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