25 July 2014

SNE Press release - SNE calls for clear and proportionate EU rules for infant, follow-on, and young-child formulae

Specialised Nutrition Europe (SNE), representing manufacturers of infant milks and foods in Europe, welcomes the final scientific opinion on the compositional requirements for infant formulae and follow-on formulae published yesterday by the European Food Safety Authority.

This opinion was published following an extensive public consultation process and is the final scientific step required before the European Commission can further develop the EU rules relevant for infant, follow-on, and young-child formulae.

SNE strongly welcomes the conclusion that there are specific differences in the nutritional requirements for infants 0-6 months compared to older infants over 6 months, and that their nutritional needs differ from those of young children older than 12 months.

President of SNE Roger Clarke comments: “Our industry is deeply committed to providing safe and high quality products that meet the specific nutritional needs of infants and young children. We are pleasedthat the final opinion recognizes the value of these products and their contribution to supporting the nutritional needs of these vulnerable consumers.

We now hope that this scientific advice will be integrated into regulatory decisions for infant, follow-on formulae and young-child formulae in a way that ensures the best nutrition during the first years of life and encourages safe innovation based on science”, Roger Clarke concluded.

Babies are not small adults; the first three years of a baby’s life are a time of significant change and growth. For this reason, it is essential that European policy-makers support the families in Europe who struggle to meet the specific nutritional needs of their infants and young children.

Therefore, SNE calls upon the European Commission to develop clear and proportionate legislation that provides consumers with adequate information and distinguishes between the three product categories which are designed for three very different developmental phases.


Notes to editors:

·         Specialised Nutrition Europe (SNE) is the trade association representing the interests of the specialised nutrition industry across the European Union. SNE members are the national associations of 16 Member States and their members are the companies producing foods for particular nutritional needs, known at EU level as 'foods for specific groups'.

·         SNE members provide tailor made dietary solutions for populations with very specific nutritional needs including infants and young children, individuals under medical supervision, sportsmen, overweight and obese consumers, and those suffering from coeliac disease.

·         A range of infant milks are available to help families meet the nutritional requirements of infants in good health:

o   Infant formula is the only safe alternative to breast milk for babies under 6 months of age. 

o   Follow-on formula has been developed to meet the nutritional needs of older infants (over 6 months) and contains added vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin D and iron.  Follow-on formula should only be used as a complement of the breastfeeding, as part of a mixed weaning diet and not as a breast milk substitute before six months.

o   Young-child formula (also known as ‘milk-based drinks for young children’ ‘toddler milks’ or ‘growing up milks’) are designed to meet the needs of young children aged 1-3 years as part of a mixed diet based on family foods. Like follow-on formula, they should not be used as a breast milk substitute before six months.