25 October 2013

SNE Press release - SNE welcomes EFSA's recognition of the specific nutritional needs of young children across Europe

Specialised Nutrition Europe (SNE) represents manufacturers of infant milks and foods in Europe, who are dedicated to delivering the highest quality nutrition for babies and toddlers.

Commenting on today’s publication of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) opinion on nutrient requirements and dietary intakes of infants and young children, President of SNE Roger Clarke said:

“We welcome the recognition that young children have specific needs, and that they require more Vitamin D, iron, DHA and sometimes iodine. While these nutritional requirements can be met with a balanced diet, we acknowledge, in accordance with the EFSA opinion, that the reality demonstrates that there are gaps in the ability of many families across Europe to meet these nutritional needs.”

In this context, SNE welcomes EFSA’s conclusion that fortified formulae, including young-child formulae, represents one way to increase essential nutrient intakes in infants and young children with inadequate or at risk of inadequate status of these nutrients.

Young-child formulae are specifically designed and manufactured to meet the specific needs of children aged one to three years as part of a mixed diet based on family foods.

These products, which are produced under strict controls and meet very high standards of safety and quality, play a valuable role in helping to resolve these nutritional inequalities across Europe, providing parents with a convenient and safe way to ensure their child gets the nutrients they need during this developmental phase.

SNE looks forward to the publication of a second scientific opinion from the EFSA in 2014 on composition criteria.


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.

·         Young-child formulae (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.

·         Young-child formulae are currently legislated for by Article 11 of the Framework Directive 2009/39/EC on foods for particular nutritional uses and, depending on local member state regulations, have been either subject to the general framework for food safety (Regulation 178/2002/EC), or subject to Directive 2006/141/EC on infant formulae and follow on formulae for composition and safety and labelling requirements.

·         As of July 2013, foods that are specially designed for specific groups of the population are covered by Regulation (EU) No. 609/2013. The new Regulation covers all other foods for infants and young children under the age of 3 years, such as infant formula, follow-on formula and processed cereal based foods and baby foods for infants and young children. It does not, however, cover young-child formulae.

Whether the new Regulation should cover young-child formulaein the future is subject to a review by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The EFSA review is expected to guide a Commission proposal which will determine whether these products shall be covered by specialist legislation.