These applications are to extend the use of a docosahexaenoic acid (22:6(n-3), DHA) rich algal oil from the microalgae Schizochytrium sp. and a related DHA and eicosapentaenoic (20:5(n-3), EPA) rich oil from a different strain of the same source organism.
As the Committee has issued positive opinions for these oils in the past, both the opinions are in the form of letters which informs the European Commission and other Member States that the ACNFP accepts the applicant’s rationale for extending the uses.
Extending the use of these oils will not lead to consumption at levels which exceed the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA’s) tolerable upper intake level of EPA and DHA of 5g/day, which was set in June 2012, and the applicant’s requests follow the publication of two positive EFSA opinions earlier this year which endorse a cause and effect relationship between dietary intake of EPA and DHA and the reduction of blood pressure and blood triglycerides . These opinions are likely to result in the authorisation of health claims which will be restricted to high dose food supplements.
Before any new food product can be introduced on the European market, it must be rigorously assessed for safety. In the UK, the assessment of novel foods is carried out by an independent committee of scientists appointed by the Food Standards Agency, the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP).
The ACNFP has considered these applications and has formulated positive draft opinions. Any comments on these draft opinions should be sent to to the ACNFP Secretariat by 22 April 2013 and will be passed to the Committee when it concludes its assessment of these novel food ingredients.
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