NPN for Traditional Health Claims - Discontinues membership EHPM

Press release: 
Dutch Trade Association NPN goes for Traditional Health Claims Regulation and discontinues membership in EHPM. On 19 December 2014, NPN has informed the Board of the European Federation of Associations of Health Product Manufacturers (EHPM) of its decision not to commit itself to continuing its membership in 2015.

The decision has not been taken lightly. NPN is a founding member of EHPM and has faithfully and loyally contributed to the organization throughout the years. However, a fundamental difference of opinion has arisen between EHPM's board and NPN concerning the solution that must be found for the problem that the European Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation lacks a procedure that applies specifically to health claims based on traditional use. This problem has been framed as a problem that only concerns traditional use of botanicals, but NPN holds the view that the problem concerns all traditional health claims.

On the basis of a thorough analysis of the options that are on the table in the context of EU food law and case law, NPN has concluded that a course can and must be followed that leads to a solution for traditional health claims within the strict confinement of regulating the use of such claims in commercial communication. NPN considers extending this course to regulating market entry of "botanicals" unnecessarily restrictive, onerous and inappropriate, especially because regulating "botanicals" may eventually lead to the inclusion of a pharmacological cut-off point in such a system.

In November, NPN shared its views with the European Commission, suggesting that the best option is to be found in the introduction of a procedure for health claims based on traditional use in the Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation.

NPN fears that once the pharmacological cut-off point is accepted as a model for limiting the use of botanical foodstuffs in or as foods, it cannot be excluded that this "cut-off" model will be applied to other foodstuffs such as vitamins, minerals and other physiologically active substances.

While NPN has informed the Board of EHPM that it remains willing and prepared to cooperate in matters where the two organisations do share common ground, NPN will continue lobbying for what it considers to be the least restrictive and least onerous harmonized regulation of health claims based on the traditional use of foods.


Should you wish to receive more information regarding NPN's viewpoints, do not hesitate to contact Saskia Geurts or Mischa Strijder at NPN:

Telephone +31 33 245 60 01 • E-mail: • Website:

NPN is the Dutch Trade Association for food supplements, such as vitamins, minerals and herbal preparations. NPN represents companies throughout the entire chain, from raw material suppliers to distributors.

Datum: 6 januari 2015
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