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Understanding probiotics in a European context Probiotic food and food supplements in Europe: how to move forward


IPA Europe, Brussels, Belgium


The probiotic industry outside Europe is rapidly growing, while the European market is still lagging behind. The ambition of taking back the position of the EU as world leader, in a sector with huge potential, will require rethinking of the policies and the regulatory environment. 
Bringing together experts, member states and industry, the event “Probiotics and Innovation in Europe”, hosted by the Danish Permanent Representation to the European Union on May 6st, discussed aspects of probiotic use that could be of benefit to European citizens, businesses and national economies. 
The event presented different case studies that showed how the impact of a regulation can influence both investments and European industry’s competitiveness. 
The event was moderated by FIPRA Chairman Robert Madelin, former Director of the European Commission.

At the Workshop on “Probiotics and Innovation”, organized by the Danish Permanent Representation on 6 May 2019 in Brussels, over 45 participants, including Member States’ authorities, stakeholders and the European Commission, discussed aspects of probiotic use that could be of benefit to European citizens, businesses and national economies. This promising and innovative sector is suffering from a lack of clarity regarding the use of the term ‘probiotic’, as there is currently no EU regulatory framework that defines probiotic micro-organisms or the probiotic food category. 

Deprived of appropriate information on probiotics, EU consumers are confused and turn to the internet and other uncontrolled sources for information. This is the case of the sales via the internet of probiotic supplements bearing health messages without any criteria for the use of the term.

IPA Europe considers that this is not a good development and it seriously undermines the integrity of the food probiotic industry.

The probiotics industry is growing fast outside the EU, and significant opportunities exist for further growt ...

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