EU Commission modifies regulation for labelling and usage of novel food

Published: 22-Sep-2023

Announced by NAXA, the EU Commission has reportedly modified regulation pertaining to the labelling and usage conditions of the novel food astaxanthin

The Natural Algae Astaxanthin Association (NAXA), has announced the EU Commission has issued a new regulation amending implementing regulation 2017/2470 as regards the conditions of use of the novel food ‘astaxanthin-rich oleoresin from Haematococcus pluvialis algae’.

This modification follows a dossier which was developed with the support of the French consulting firm, Orchidali and submitted on behalf of NAXA members to the European Commission on December 15, 2022. 

The submission requested the Commission to extend the use to two age groups, based on safe dosages calculated from the acceptable daily intake (ADI) of Astaxanthin. Previous labeling requirements implemented by the Commission with Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/1377 mandated a statement that food supplements containing Astaxanthin-rich oleoresin from Haematococcus pluvialis algae “should not be consumed by infants, children, and adolescents  younger than 14 years.” 

The revised regulation now allows our customers to also offer Astaxanthin to consumers including children 3 to less than 10 years of age

- Shaheen Majeed, CEO of Algae Health Science

Commenting on the news, Shaheen Majeed, CEO of Algae Health Science, a division of BGG focusing on production and distribution of Astaxanthin said: "I am pleased that the stance we suggested has led to the decision to revise the existing regulation. The revised regulation now allows our customers to also offer Astaxanthin to consumers including children 3 to less than 10 years of age and adolescents 10 to less than 14 years of age. But more importantly it removed a mandatory and restrictive disclaimer from their labels.” 

Majeed added: “The previous EFSA opinions had established the safety of Astaxanthin for all consumers (except infants, for whom supplements are not authorised) within the acceptable daily intake (ADI). The removal of this restrictive disclaimer erases doubts that might have arisen among consumers regarding the safety of Astaxanthin-rich oleoresin derived from Haematococcus pluvialis algae for children, and adolescents under the age of 14.” 

Matt Custer, CEO of Cyanotech said: “We applaud Europe's decision recognising astaxanthin for younger groups. This progressive move allows more people to benefit from Astaxanthin as a powerful natural antioxidant for health. The robust demand we experience from Europe for our premium Hawaiian astaxanthin underscores its value and reinforces our unwavering commitment to promote better health for all people across all continents.”

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Tomás Arenas, VP of Global Marketing at Atacama Bio Natural Products, remarked: "The inclusion of children and teenagers in the European regulation for Astaxanthin consumption marks a pivotal moment for our industry. This collective success, orchestrated by NAXA and bolstered by the diligent efforts of Atacama Bio's technical team, showcases the unity and drive of company-based organisations toward broader health benefits. We are deeply proud to be a part of this industry milestone, reflecting our shared vision of harnessing nature's potency for the well-being of all ages.” 

“We believe that the revision reflects more correctly the EFSA opinion on algae-based Astaxanthin and has confirmed safety at the indicated dosages for each age group of the population,” said Allen Levine, NAXA's president. “We are happy to have supported this initiative for the benefit of all our members. We are pleased with this positive outcome.”

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