National governments submitted 44,000 claims from food manufacturers to the European Commission. Not one has yet been authorised, though all were supposed to have been agreed at the beginning of the year.
The claims relate to the supposed health benefits of foods and ingredients.
The European Food Safety Authority has so far made recommendations on 937 of the claims, but the Commission has not yet taken any final decision.
Details of the latest situation are described in a response from health commissioner John Dalli to a parliamentary question tabled by British Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies.
Davies said: “The situation is a complete mess and is leaving many hundreds of companies confused and at risk of significant commercial loss. The Commission expected just 1,000 claims, but will now have to evaluate at least four times that number.
“Given the resources available, it’s difficult to know how assessments can be accelerated without shortcuts being taken that will result in justifiable protests about unfair judgements being made.
“In my view, the Commission has no choice but to continue breaking the law. It would be completely wrong to approve the health claims made for some foods while other applications are stuck in the queue.”
Source: Representative of Chris Davies
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