30 October 2018

SNE calls for open and science-based debate on the JRC findings on Baby foods

SNE, representing Baby foods manufacturers, acknowledges the publication of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) Technical Report on Processed cereal-based food and other baby foods: An analysis of national food-dietary guidelines and products available on the EU market.

SNE understands that the aim of the JRC Technical Report, which analyses current national food-based dietary guidelines and products available on the EU market, is to provide evidence-based support to the EU policy makers in order to develop a proposal for a new Delegated Regulation on Baby foods.

Processed cereal-based foods and baby foods (so called ‘Baby foods’) are products specifically designed to meet the  specific nutritional requirements of infants and young children from 4-6 to 36 months. Baby foods differentiate themselves from general foods from both a nutritional perspective (i.e. specific composition requirements) as well as from a safety perspective (i.e. stricter food safety requirements).

Baby foods play an essential role in the growth and development of babies across the EU, providing a safe and balanced option to meet their evolving nutritional needs during the transition towards family foods. They also help parents support their individual concept of family life, by offering a broad variety of foods – e.g. products supporting self-cooking as well as ready-to-eat products.

This analysis is a basis for starting an open dialogue with EU decision-makers on the future EU rules on Baby foods. SNE welcomes the positive step that this Report represents in the context of the preparation of an up-to-date and evidence-based legislative framework. However, SNE notes that some aspects of the Report could be of concern and need further consideration, in particular regarding data collection and the comparison methodology used by the JRC. In this regard, SNE considers it to be crucial to evaluate and verify the findings of the JRC Report carefully to make sure that the forthcoming EU Delegated Regulation will be drafted on a common and facts-oriented basis.

SNE looks forward to sharing its comments on the JRC findings as well as participating in the discussion on the future delegated regulation on Baby foods to ensure the development of an evidence- and science-based EU legislative framework on Baby foods.

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Notes to editors:

  • Specialised Nutrition Europe (SNE) is the trade association representing the interests of the specialised nutrition industry across Europe. SNE members are the national associations of 19 European countries including a majority of EU states and their members are the companies producing tailor made dietary solutions for populations with very specific nutritional needs. These include: infants and young children, patients under medical supervision, sportspeople, overweight and obese consumers, and those suffering from coeliac disease.