Reading it Right on Novel Foods

On 1st January 2018, Regulation (EC) No. 258/97 on novel foods and novel food ingredients will cease to apply, and Regulation (EU) No. 2015/2283 on novel foods will take its place. What will this change mean for foods already on the European Union (EU) market and new foods intended for placing on the market? The incoming Regulation 2015/2283 has the same ‘cut off’ date of 15th May 1997 for defining a novel food, but it brings in some changes, including extending and clarifying the classification categories of novel foods, and also to the authorisation process. A new authorisation process is added for traditional foods entering the EU market from Third Countries, and other ingredients will be subject to central authorisation.

Expert speakers reviewed the implications of these changes. The programme looked at the requirements of the incoming Regulation, the points expected to be of priority in future reviews of novel foods, and the potential effects of Regulation 2015/2283 on certain food categories already present on the market, with the status of insects and insect-derived products discussed as an example. The possible implications of the UK’s exit from the EU on UK submissions that are already going through the novel foods process was covered, as was the effect of this issue on future novel foods assessments by the UK.