Novel food assessments

Under the Novel Foods Regulation a novel food is defined as a food that does not have a significant history consumption within the EU prior to May 1997. Such foods are subject to a pre-market safety assessment before a decision is made on EU-wide authorisation.

Submitting an application

A novel food application is first made to a single EU member state. Once this application has been accepted the Member State has 90 days to produce an initial opinion. This opinion is then circulated to all EU member states, who are then given a further 60 days to comment.

The Novel Foods Regulation includes a simplified procedure where a novel food is considered substantially equivalent to a food that is already on the market. In this case, the applicant can submit a notification to the European Commission after obtaining an opinion on equivalence from an EU member state.


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