Food Law News - UK - 2005

FSA News Item, 24 October 2005

NOVEL FOODS - Noni juice application

The Agency is calling for views on an application to market a noni juice product.

The Food Standards Agency has been asked to give an opinion on whether Hawaiian Noni LLC noni juice is 'substantially equivalent' to a previously approved product. A novel food is defined as a food or food ingredient that does not have a significant history of consumption in the EU before May 1997.

Noni juice comes from the fruit commonly known as 'noni'. But it is also known as 'Indian Mulberry' and 'nonu'.

An application for noni juice was approved in 2003 but applied to the applicant company only. However, European Commission regulations allow for novel foods or ingredients that are 'substantially equivalent' to an existing product to be placed on the market once the applicant has informed the EC.

In all cases to date, the Commission has asked the applicant to first obtain an opinion on substantial equivalence from a Member State. The ACNFP, which advises the Food Standards Agency on novel foods, carries out novel food assessments in the UK.

Hawaiian Noni LLC has requested such an opinion from the UK. The basis of this request is that Agrinom, the supplier of Hawaiian Noni Juice LLC, is the sole supplier of BPI Austria, whose product was authorised in 2004.

Any comments on this application should be sent to the ACNFP Secretariat by 21 November 2005.

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