The new Novel Food Regulation that has been agreed on 16 November 2015, aims to improve conditions so that businesses can more easily bring new and innovative food to the EU market, while still maintaining a high level of food safety for European consumers. The aim of the new Regulation is to make the authorization procedure for novel food simpler, faster and more efficient, so that innovative food which is safe to consume can be put on the market faster.
Moreover, the data protection provisions will help to protect the interests of companies which produce new, innovative products, and should help to encourage innovation in the food sector.
If traditional food from non-EU countries which are considered novel food can historically be demonstrated as being safe and there are no safety concerns raised by EU Member States or EFSA, that traditional food will be allowed to be placed on the market on the basis of a notification from the food business operator. Another key point is the establishment of an EU list of authorized novel foods and to update the current provisions for novel foods in line with new technological – e.g. nanotechnology – and scientific developments. Authorizations would be generic.
The new Regulation still has to be formally adopted by the European Parliament and the Council before its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. The new rules will apply two years from the date of entry into force of the new Regulation (around end 2017/beginning 2018).