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Novel foods and novel food ingredients

The Commission considers foods and food ingredients that have not been used for human consumption to a significant degree in the EU before 15 May 1997 novel foods and novel food ingredients.

They must be:

Risk assessment before the marketing of novel foods and ingredients

To market a novel food or ingredient, companies must apply to a EU country authority for authorisation, presenting the scientific information and safety assessment report.

Authorisations

Authorisation covers:

Simplified procedure - notification

A novel food or ingredient may be marketed through a simplified procedure called "notification". The company notifies the Commission about their marketing a novel food or ingredient based on the opinion of a food assessment body that has established "substantial equivalence".

The Commission sends decisions on a novel food or ingredient likely to affect public health to the Scientific Committee for Food.

Labelling

Requirements for labelling of novel food and ingredients are additional to the general EU requirements on food labelling. Where necessary, labelling of novel food and novel food ingredients may mention:

Safeguard measure

If a EU country considers a novel food or ingredient a risk to human or environmental health because of new information, it may suspend or temporarily restrict the marketing and use of any novel food or ingredient on their territory.

The country informs the Commission which either extends the national measures to all EU countries or asks that they are repealed.

Regulation EC 258/97 – Article 12

What the Novel Food Regulation does not cover

The Regulation does not cover foods and ingredients for which an approval exists:

Authorisations and refusals for marketing of novel foods and ingredients

Applications for authorisation and their status pdf Updated 25-06-2012

Notifications of novel foods pdf Updated 25-09-2014

Opinions of the Scientific Committee on Foodstuffs on novel foods.

Recommendation 97/618/EC - application rules.

This information has been collected since the Novel Food Regulation entered into force.