What is the current legislation regarding Novel Food?

Authorisation and use of novel foods and food ingredients have been harmonised in the European Union since 1997 when Regulation (EC) No 258/97 on novel food and novel food ingredients was adopted. Novel food is food not consumed to a significant degree in the European Union prior to 15 May 1997 and which falls under one of the categories listed in the Regulation (e.g. food consisting of or isolated from micro-organisms, fungi or algae).

New rules for Novel Food

In 2008, the Commission presented a proposal to amend the Novel Food Regulation. In 2011, the co-legislative procedure discussions provoked a debate around the cloning issue and no agreement was reached between the European Parliament and the Council.

As a result, the Commission was asked to prepare a separate legislative proposal on cloning in food production based on an impact assessment.

In 2013, the Commission presented a proposal for a Regulation. Under the draft, novel food would be subject to a simpler, clearer and more efficient authorisation procedure fully centralised at EU level, which should enable safe and innovative food to be placed on the EU market faster without compromising a high level of public health.

The co-legislators the European Parliament and the Council have reached an agreement on the new Regulation which was adopted on 25 November 2015.

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