News 222 views last update:6 Aug 2012

'EFSA lacks probiotic expertise'

The European Food and Feed Cultures Association (EFFCA) has called on the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to bring scientists with “core expertise” in gut and immune health into its assessment procedures.

The group feels that most dossiers sent in for registration were being rejected for lack of characterisation without scientific backing even being looked at.
EFFCA represents all of the major probiotics suppliers and said this caused by the lack of guidance in the area of probiotics.
Its member companies include Chr Hansen, Danisco, Lallemand, Cargill, DSM, Kerry and Valio.
“EFFCA feels that one solution could be to initiate promptly an open discussion between scientists with core expertise in the field of gut and immune health on the data required to establish the health benefits of probiotics,” it said.
The regulatory organisation is yet to issue positive probiotic-based health claim opinions.
EFSA so far has rejected more than 280 dossiers, mostly because the strains were deemed not to be sufficiently characterised.

Dick Ziggers

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