Working Groups & Ad Hoc Task Forces

Regulatory & Quality Working Group (R&Q WG) – Chair Martin Last

The EU is constantly producing legislation that impacts on the day to day operation of food supplement companies affecting factors such as:

  • what ingredients can be used in products;
  • what indications must appear on labelling and where;
  • what claims can be made on products.

EHPM’s members have experts that constantly monitor the evolving regulatory requirements. The R&Q WG brings together these experts to discuss changing requirement but also to develop policy input to the European institutions to shape the nature of these requirements.

EHPM has led the way the field of quality for the food supplement industry through the EHPM Quality Guide. EHPM’s national association also work closely with their national authorities to promote industry best practices and standards. Quality is an ongoing process and one that never reaches an end. The R&Q WG is constantly examining areas where the EHPM Quality Guide can be improved in line with the emergence of new best practices.

Botanicals Working Group (BWG) – Chair Jonathan Griffiths

The approach that will be taken to the regulation of the use of botanicals in food supplements is currently under consideration by the European Commission and Member States. As this area is not currently subject to harmonised EU legislation, the BWG brings together experts form EHPM’s members with expertise on the different systems in place in EU Member States. The pooling of this expertise is used to produce EHPM’s input into the EU policy development process such as EHPM Proposal for a Graded-approach to the assessment of botanical health claims and the ongoing project on an appropriate safety evaluation method for botanicals.

Probiotics Working Group (PWG) – Chair Gabrielle Ventura

Although there is consolidated scientific proof of the value of probiotics in various physiological functions of the human body, the EU and several Member States do not allow the use of the term “probiotics” on the packaging. The only exceptions in the EU are Italy, the Netherlands, and recently Spain. This creates a severe disruption of the internal market, difficulties for companies accessing the EU market as well as confusion among consumers.

EHPM gathers experts from its members into the PWG to develop a balanced solution that would allow the use of the term “probiotics” across the EU. EHPM believes that this would create a labelling environment that consumers can trust and would allow consumers to make informed choices about the products they purchase and consume.

Ad Hoc Task Force: Monacolins from Red Yeast Rice(RYR) – Coordinator Antonino Santoro

Whenever the European Commission is about to launch a new Art.8 (Reg.EC 1915/2006) procedure for an ingredient used in food supplements, EHPM activates its network of companies and experts. On a case by case basis, EHPM can decide to formalise its experts group addressing the Art.8 procedure by establishing an ad hoc task force. This was the case of the Task Force on Monacolins from RYR.

Through the Task Force on Monacolins from RYR, EHPM aims at establishing and promoting industry best practices for food supplements quality, safety, and efficacy. In this framework, EHPM members set up a European alliance of food supplement companies across Europe willing to develop and implement a self-regulation manifesto, built on best practices already in place in some European countries, with the objective to set a golden standard within the industry.

The work done by this ad hoc task force concerns food supplements containing Monacolins from RYR. However, the manifesto is a pilot approach that can potentially be applied to other substances or mixtures used in food supplements.