Potential labelling requirements for foodstuffs containing Omega-3 fatty acids EPA (eicosa- pentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahxenoicacid) were among 12 new health claims discussed at the EU Commission’s Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health in Brussels in December. Omega-3 fatty acids have already won heart and brain health claims and there was industry support for consumer information “not to exceed a supplemental daily intake of 5g of DHA and EPA combined”.

Among the health claims discussed were amending Regulation (EU) No 432/2012 establishing the list of permitted health claims made on foods other than those referring to the reduction of disease risk and to children’s development and health.

The Commission presented the draft and informed the delegations of the implications of the measure regarding the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006, in particular the entries IDs in the consolidated list that would still remain ‘on hold’ after its adoption.

These include claims on ‘botanical’ substances where the reflection initiated by the Commission is still ongoing and claims that may be affected by the revision of the legislation on foodstuffs for particular nutritional uses.

The draft will be referred to for final discussions at experts group and submitted to the Committee at a future meeting. Lengthy discussions on certain claims subject to the measure include claims on: EPA/DHA: Several delegations agreed to the clarification of the condition of use of the claims with regard to information to consumer not to exceed a supplemental daily intake of 5g of DHA and EPA combined; caffeine: the Commission agreed, on the basis of the concerns raised for all (5) health claims related to caffeine, to refer the matter back to EFSA for advice before those claims are authorized; From December 14, 2012, any general health claims that are not authorized and not on hold/under consideration were prohibited. This closed the door on many long-used health claims and more than 1600 proposed health associations were not authorized.