Last week the EHPM (European Federation of Associations of Health Products Manufacturers) reported that France has officially authorized the use of the term “probiotics” on labels for food supplements under certain conditions.
It has been a previously contentious issue as the use of the term across Europe was seen by authorities simply as an implied health claim. This important step could pave the way for other EU countries to follow suit, bringing more opportunities to supplement manufacturers and distributors who are looking to enter a European market.
What does the change really mean for supplement manufacturers?
These new regulations allow food supplement manufacturers to list “probiotics” on their labels and market their products accordingly, but with some limitations.
Nutritional supplements must contain specific information about their probiotic content, such as strain name, genus, species, and quantity. In France, so long as the products meet certain conditions, such as a minimum number of living cells per daily dose, then the term probiotic may be used on food supplement labels accompanied by the wording “contributes to the balance of the intestinal flora’.
For existing manufacturers, as long as your product can meet the minimum requirements and support strict label claims, this will open up opportunities for distribution to a previously closed French market.
France’s action may open up additional avenues of supplement distribution for businesses in both Europe and North America.
Overall, this move is indicative of a positive trend towards regulating nutrition products intelligently instead of blocking them with restrictive laws. With greater accuracy in labeling and clearer information about ingredients, consumers can make informed decisions about how to care for their health needs.
Hopefully we will see similar steps taken in other countries around the world as well, bringing expanded options for those seeking access to quality supplements.