After Spain has recently allowed the use of the term probiotic invoking the mutual recognition principle, and Denmark has started to discuss this topic in the national Parliament, asking for a European clarification on the use of the term, the Netherlands also intervene to define the use of the term probiotic in food and food supplements.
On Friday the “Nutrition and Health Claims Handbook” was released, providing clear indication on the use of the term Probiotic in the Netherlands. The term “probiotic” can now be used in mandatory information, to identify the categories of micronutrients or substances that characterize the product in food supplements. After explaining the difference between a nutrition and health claim, it is clearly stated that as long as the Commission does not take a decision on this file, the term probiotics can be used in the Netherlands.
Despite probiotics are high on the political agenda in several Member States, the European Commission remains silent and for DG SANTE this is still not a priority topic.
The development of a better context in the EU for probiotics in food and food supplements can contribute towards a more sustainable food value chain, and promote responsible manufacturing practices and transparent information to consumers. These are important steps in helping consumers get a clearer idea about the products they are choosing.