Article 4 of the Regulation foresees the setting of nutrient profiles, via the regulatory committee procedure with European Parliament and Council scrutiny by January 2009.
In simple terms nutrient profiles will determine whether foods are eligible or not to bear claims, on the basis of their nutrient composition. Nutrient profiles will be based primarily on the levels of nutrients for which excessive intakes in the overall diet are not recommended.
The setting of nutrient profiles is a complex exercise that needs to take into account:
- dietary recommendations, public health considerations, and generally acceptable scientific evidence regarding the relationship between diet, nutrition and health, for which the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) provided a scientific opinion in January 2008.
- but also industrial/commercial considerations, including innovation, cultural and dietary/culinary considerations.
The Commission has conducted specific and extensive consultations of stakeholders on the setting of nutrient profiles. Besides numerous contacts with consumers and public health groups and the different sectors of the food industry, stakeholders were consulted in two meetings of a working group on nutrient profiles of the Advisory Group on the Food Chain and Animal and Plant Health on 8 July and 28 November 2008.
Member State experts were consulted within the Commission expert working group on nutrition and health claims, in which EFSA also participated.
In the frame of this consultation, many letters have been addressed to DG SANCO, Commissioner Vassiliou, other Commissioners and President Barroso.
Directorate General Health and Consumers has prepared a collective answer .