NutriClaim was among the participants of the Novel Food Workshop who gathered in Brussels last week (23rd June) to discuss the practical application of Regulation 258/97.

Also high-up the agenda was the issue of what a new Novel Food Regulation will bring in terms of speed of the evaluation (by EFSA) and transparency of the process.

Indeed, as was emphasized by UK FSA official Dr. Chris Jones, a centralized evaluation procedure will certainly speed up the process, as in the current application system through a Member State frequently significant delays are encountered. Nevertheless, the current process amply allows for pre-submission consultation, which, given EFSA’s position with regard to Health Claims submissions where such is not the case, is not to be expected in the new format.

Furthermore, it was anticipated that although the fast-track approval through Substantial Equivalence will die in the new Regulation, the very concept of Substantial Equivalence might still be a valid approach for an application under the new Regulation.