Uncertainty remains over “politicised” MPLs — Mathioudakis

Basil Mathioudakis, head of the EC’s food law unit DG SANCO, has conceded that uncertainty continues over the issue of maxium permitted levels (MPLs) for vitamins and minerals.

Speaking at a conference in Berlin yesterday (December 8), Mathioudakis would only say that the “intention” remained to set maximum levels and that “as the other priorities are being finalised we may see that the subject comes back.”

Commenting on the EC’s efforts to secure harmonisation of the marketing and sales of food supplements across the EU, Mathioudakis said: “Harmonisation is not complete or not as complete as some would have liked. Many would be quick to blame the Commission for not acting to further harmonise. Some of the issues we face in respect to further harmonisation continue to be controversial and have become political, and this has to be taken into account.”

The Berlin conference was organised by European association BLL and sponsored by European trade associations EHPM, ERNA, and EBF, and the global food supplement association IADSA.

EHPM Chairman Peter van Doorn told delegates: “The topics we are discussing are controversial for the industry, but not only for industry. These issues are also controversial for regulators. Harmonisation to open up the European market is necessary, but how much harmonisation is needed? The challenge is to get things on a level playing field. There is progress, but there are a number of difficulties which should not be the insurmountable problems that they currently seem to be.”