SNE Statement 19 June 2015 following Working group of the Advisory group meeting on Total Diet Replacement
Specialised Nutrition Europe (SNE), representing manufacturers of the full range of slimming foods, attended the Working group of the Advisory Group meeting organised by the European Commission on the future regulatory options for total diet replacements (TDR) (both Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) and Low Calorie Diet products (LCD)), Meal Replacement and Partial meal replacement for weight reduction and/ or control. The meeting took place on 18 June and brought together a range of EU stakeholders including industry associations and other NGOs.
Stakeholders at the meeting recognised the increasing challenge of overweight and obesity in Europe, and the importance of guaranteeing safe and efficient total diet replacement to lose and maintain weight. Participants took note of the fact that many consumers do address their weight problems with inappropriate nutritional solutions, acknowledging the proliferation of ‘fad diets’ that do not provide adequate nutrition.
As consumer behaviour is largely influenced by the taste and/or cost of products, SNE urged the European Commission and the Member States to take into account consumer expectations in addition to the safety assessment made by EFSA. This approach will allow for the implementation of necessary and proportionate EU rules to ensure that consumers who are willing to follow a diet such as TDR consume safe and effective VLCD and LCD products.
SNE also underlined that the current rules governing compositional and labelling requirements on TDR have existed for over 20 years at both EU and international level, and they meet the expectations of both healthcare professionals and consumers in terms of safety and quality.
As far as meal replacements for weight control are concerned, SNE welcomes the proposed continuity with the current provisions of Directive 96/8/ECin order to ensure no legal gaps after the repeal of the current directive as of 20 July 2016. Nonetheless, SNE calls for a more consistent horizontal EU legal approach with Regulation 1169/2011 on Food Information to Consumers and with Regulation 1924/2006 on Nutrition and Health claims.
Finally, SNE considers that clarity should also be provided on the future EU regulatory framework for partial meal replacements for weight control.
SNE looks forward to continuing to take part in the public policy dialogue to help tackle the societal challenges of overweight and obesity and to provide consumers with the adequate products to match their particular nutritional needs, healthcare professionals and consumers’ expectations.
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Notes to editors:
- Following the adoption in 2013 of new specialised nutrition rules under the Foods for Specific Groups (FSG) Regulation 609/2013, a distinction has been made between VLCD/LCD and meal replacements/ partial meal replacements for weight reduction and/ or control.
- While total diet replacement products (VLCD & LCD) will be clearly regulated under the new FSG Regulation, meal replacements and partial meal replacements for weight control will fall under general food law once the new FSG rules will become applicable from July 2016 onwards.
- An EFSA opinion was published in January 2015 on the essential composition of total diet replacements for weight control.
- SNE calls for the implementation of necessary and appropriate EU rules to ensure that consumers who are willing to follow a diet consume safe and efficient products, as total diet replacement products, meal replacements and partial meal replacements.