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“Traditional Foods” and EU Novel Foods Legislation


Campden BRI, Chipping Campden, United Kingdom

Food safety legislation within the European Union addresses the entire supply chain from farm to table. As a consequence it often has impacts beyond its immediate jurisdiction. One piece of legislation which has recently been reviewed and revised is that concerning novel foods. Essentially a novel food is considered to be one that has not been consumed to a significant degree by humans in at least one Member State within the EU before 15 May 1997. The original regulation (REGULATION (EC) No 258/97) defined what a novel food was, established a requirement that, before being placed on the market, regulatory approval had to be granted and defined the metrics which needed to be satisfied to achieve approval. These metrics were that, the novel food should not present a danger to the consumer; its description should not mislead and that if it was intended to replace a food or ingredient, it would not differ to the extent that normal consumption by the consumer would be nutritionally disadvantageous.
Dossiers providing the evidence to corroborate an application for novel foods approval are of necessity substantial and complex and even where no issues are raised there can be a s ...

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