ALDE strongly supported this October 2015 regulation which made it safer and easier to put novel foods on the market. A streamlined European-level authorisation procedure gave food producers an improved legal framework to put their innovative products on the European market.
Novel Food is defined as food that has not been consumed to a significant degree by people in the EU prior to 1997, when the first Regulation on novel food came into force. Novel Food can be newly developed, innovative food or food produced using new technologies and production processes as well as food traditionally eaten outside of the EU. Examples of Novel Food include agriculture products from third countries (chia seeds, noni fruit juice, hibiscus), newly produced nutrients (collagen, palm sugar) or food derived from new production processes (UV-treated food like milk, bread, mushrooms and yeast).
While ensuring a high standard of food safety for consumers and more transparency in the authorisation procedure, this was also good for new businesses who benefited from increased legal clarity of this update on the regulation, but making sure they comply with the following rules:
- Safety for consumers.
- Properly labelled products, so as not to mislead consumers.
- If novel food is intended to replace another food, it must not differ in a way that the consumption of the Novel Food would be nutritionally disadvantageous for the consumer.
MEP Jasenko Selimovic said: “It was a good day for us who believe in innovation and choose not to be afraid of everything that is new. We can now get a more consistent and predictable process on EU level for the approval of novel foods. It was high time to update and modernise rules dating from 1997. After long and hard negotiations we got a good compromise in the end.”
ALDE was key in negotiating a solid compromise that included sensible measures for all of the EP’s key concerns such as allowing for more innovation in the sector, while having clear and stringent rules that safeguard the rights of citizens to safe food and sufficient information about what they are being offered.
Check out the European Commission catalogue of Novel Foods here.
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