Following the latest appointment of the new Technical & Regulatory Executive at HTC Health, Kwame Otchere, we’re delighted to present to you a new series of Regulatory Updates that we’ll be publishing on a regular basis. Kwame’s monthly round-ups will be covering a broad scope of news related to the European VMS industry that we think our customers might find relevant and useful.
France to ban titanium dioxide in food from 2020
France will prohibit the use of titanium dioxide (E171) as a food additive from 2020. The decision made after the country’s health and safety agency said there was a lack of evidence to guarantee the safety of the substance.
Critics emphasise the lack of nutritional value and its null effect on shelf life. There may also be health risks due to nano-particles that could pass through the walls of various organs.
Titanium dioxide is widely used as a whitener in cake icing, toothpaste, sunscreen, and medicine and food supplements. The ban will come into place from January 2020.
France increases the maximum level of vitamin A from 800µg RE to 1000µg RE
The French Authority has increased the maximum vitamin A level in the general population from 800 µg RE to 1000 µg RE. The maximum levels for children have also increased (200µg RE for children under 10 years and 500µg RE for children over 10 years).
Maximum levels were not increased for pregnant or menopausal women because vitamin A is teratogenic, and there is a link between excess vitamin A and osteoporosis, respectively.
Maximum levels in the EU vary with Belgium setting their level at 1200µg RE but Germany limits it to just 200µg RE.
Sweden’s Supreme Court outlaws the sale of CBD oil containing THC
Sweden’s Supreme Court ruled that CBD oil containing any quantity of THC is considered a drug. THC is the psychoactive compound found in cannabis.
CBD oil containing any THC will have to be approved or registered in line with pharmaceutical legislation. This ruling effectively bans the retail sale of CBD oil in Sweden. The ruling provides much-needed clarity for the CBD industry despite going against them.
Cannabis trade association plan legal action against the FSA
A trade association representing the UK’s cannabis industry plan to sue the Food Standards Agency (FSA) over adopting the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) ruling to classify CBD oil as a Novel Food.
Ingredients classed as Novel Foods require pre-market approval that has been set out in Regulation 2015/2283, which can be a lengthy process. The trade association believe the stricter regulations make it impossible for small business to compete because of the potential costs and time involved.
UK Government introduces ‘Natasha’s Law’
The UK government has introduced a new food labelling law that will come into effect from the end of summer. It will be mandatory for food businesses to provide full ingredients labelling on pre-packaged food.
This change was brought after the tragic death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died after suffering an allergic reaction to a Pret a Manger baguette.
Currently, food prepared on the premises in which it is sold is not required to display allergen information in writing. But the change should give allergy sufferers more confidence when purchasing food.
EFSA express concern over the quantity of phosphate consumption
EFSA scientists believe phosphate intake may exceed their new set safe level. After re-evaluating the safety of phosphoric acid the agency calls for an Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) of 40mg per kilogram of body weight (mg/kg bw) per day, this is 2.8 grams of phosphorus per day for an average adult weighing 70kg.
Currently, phosphates as additives in food supplements can be used as much as technologically needed. EFSA’s experts found that people taking regular food supplements may exceed the ADI at levels associated with risks to kidney function. Thus they also recommend introducing maximum permitted levels.
Facebook to address misleading health claims
Facebook announced they will reduce the number of posts with exaggerated health claims and ban those selling products using these health claims. This comes after research revealed Facebook as the largest source of fake news and misleading claims.
These posts spread easily because social media algorithms give more exposure to posts with high engagement. Many of misleading claims related to the marketing of sports nutrition.
Traces of erectile drug found in jelly food supplement
Belgian authorities are recalling a jelly food supplement after tests found the product was adulterated with the drug sildenafil citrate. This drug is used to treat men suffering from erectile dysfunction.
The dietary supplement from South Africa is promoted as being able to stimulate erectile function but there are no permitted health claims due to the lack of evidence.
Belgian Authorities recall ‘study pull’ over excess caffeine and vitamin B6
Belgian authorities are also recalling a Dutch food supplement marketed as a study aid. This was after tests found the caffeine and vitamin B6 exceeded the recommended daily limit. There was also a lack of evidence to back the claims of improved study performance.
If you have any questions relating to the news presented above, please do not hesitate to contact us for more information, as we’d be happy to advise.