How to implement harmonisation of market entry for food supplements in the EU

EESC opinion: How to implement harmonisation of market entry for food supplements in the EU

Key points

  • Noting that the food supplements market is growing in Europe and that the Food supplements Directive is not applied uniformly across the EU, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) advocates revising the EU legislation on food supplements to enable safe products to circulate freely within the EU market.
  • In particular, the EESC recommends to update the definition of food supplements, including a requirement of notification and scrutiny of administrative dossiers and setting up a food monitoring system that collects adverse reactions, thereby increasing protection of public health.
  • Product and ingredient safety must be the top requirement and should therefore be determined on a scientific basis. The EESC further recommends that maximum levels be set for vitamins and minerals and that lists of authorised and unauthorised ingredients, including plants, be drawn up.
  • The information provided to consumers must enable them to consume the products safely. The EESC recommends that communication and consumer education measures be put in place, particularly for e-commerce.
  • The EESC encourages the authorities to step up monitoring, testing and surveillance of products in order to protect consumers by ordering non-compliant products to be withdrawn. This monitoring should also prevent unfair competition between operators (e.g. use of unauthorised claims, non-compliant products from third countries, in particular).
  • The EESC therefore calls on all the relevant parties to harmonise the regulatory framework for food supplements and its implementation, in the interests of a fairer economy and greater product safety.