2022 marks the 20th Anniversary of Directive 2002/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 June 2002 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to food supplements, the so-called ‘Food Supplements Directive’.
Food supplements are foodstuffs containing concentrated sources of nutrients, vitamins, minerals or other substances with a nutritional or physiological effect, helping people reach an optimal nutritional intake by “supplementing” their diet. Food supplements function to maintain or improve health or to reduce the risk factors associated with disease. Food supplements are not meant to replace a balanced diet. As such, food supplements, together with a healthy lifestyle, contribute to the improvement of citizens’ health and well-being, and to the reduction of the financial burden of healthcare systems on Member States.
The Food Supplements Directive is the cornerstone of the European regulatory framework for food supplements. In fact, it defined food supplements, set safety rules for vitamins and minerals and other ingredients with a nutritional and physiological effect in the European Union and regulated several aspects of the products’ lawful circulation. The Directive contributed to providing consumers with detailed information through labelling and allowing a better control of the sector and high quality of the products on the market. It also recognised the role of food supplements in supporting consumers’ nutrition and health.
The development of this game-changing directive, which laid the foundation of the current regulatory framework for food supplements in Europe, was possible also thanks to a frank dialogue between authorities, institutions, experts from the sector and European stakeholders including the European Federation of Associations of Health Product Manufacturers (EHPM). In fact, EHPM is the voice of the food supplement sector since 1975. Through its 14 national associations and 12 direct company members, EHPM represents approximately 1600 health-product manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers (mostly small and medium enterprises – SMEs) across 17 European countries.
To celebrate these accomplishments and to discuss the future of the sector and its ongoing challenges, EHPM and The Parliament Magazine are organising the high-level event “Celebrating 20 years of the Food Supplements Directive” in the European Parliament Spaak Restaurant, on Tuesday 14 June 2022 from 17:30 to 20:30 (Brussels time).
This celebratory event will be hosted by MEPs Pascal Arimont and Simona Bonafè and will also see the participation of other MEPs from the ENVI Committee, such as Alessandra Moretti and Maria Spyraki.
The event will be moderated by Euractiv journalist Amalie Mersh and will feature two panel discussions:
- 20 years of the Food Supplements Directive achievements & ongoing challenges
- Botanical food supplements: opportunities & challenges
Participants will have the opportunity to hear an insightful keynote speech from the former Head of the food legislation unit of the European Commission’s DG SANTE, Basil Mathioudakis, as well as interventions from representatives of the Italian and Romanian Authorities, Dr Valeria Di Giorgi and Dr Tatiana Onisei, the consumers’ association Safe Food Advocacy Europe (SAFE) with Federica Dolce and experts from the food supplement industry.
This high-level event will be an excellent occasion for political and industrial leaders and other stakeholders across Europe to share best practices and engage in debate. “Addressing the challenges that the food supplement sector is facing is crucial to allow the full operation of the internal market and guarantee consumer safety, as well as consumer choice. In order to achieve these objectives, a constructive and transparent dialogue between regulators and stakeholders is essential. That is why I am looking forward to meeting all the key actors at our High-Level Event in the European Parliament next week.” says EHPM’s Director General Livia Menichetti.
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This article reflects the views of the author and not the views of The Parliament Magazine or of the Dods Group