Want to harmonize “botanicals”?

14 January 2013

On 30 August 2012, I explained in Let’s focus on “traditional use” not on “botanicals” that the discussions regarding “botanicals” and “health claims on botanicals” are rigged and incorrectly framed.

A detailed article (Want to harmonize “botanicals”?)  regarding these issues has now been published in European Food and Feed Law.

Not that I’m a fan of harmonisation, but if harmonisation must be, then Want to harmonize “botanicals”?offers an acceptable and proportionate way of going about.

In Want to harmonize “botanicals”? I present an outline for the only logical solution to the “botanicals” problem:

In the Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation (NHCR), the Community legislature laid down the absolute requirement that all health claims used in commercial communication shall be based on generally accepted scientific evidence. In the adjoining Terms of Reference (TOR) for the evaluation of Article 13.1 claims, the European Commission determined that in addition to the criterion of generally accepted scientific evidence, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) shall assess whether a cause and effect relationship exists between the food/foodstuff and the health claim. These two criteria combined preclude that EFSA can accept bibliographical and/or expert evidence of traditional use of a food in human health as sufficient to propose inclusion of the relevant health claim in the Union Register of Health Claims. The Union legislature should solve this regulatory problem by installing a “Traditional Health Claims Regulation” that mirrors the terms for market entry laid down Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (THMPD) and which complements the NHCR.

Bert Schwitters

Health Claims Censored presents compelling arguments as to why the European Health Claims Regulation must be amended or destroyed. This system of controlling truthful speech is excessive, disproportionate and unprecedented.