Spotlight on immune function health claims

Nearly 200 representatives from the food and drink industry, academia, Member States and the European Commission attended a recent meeting in Amsterdam to discuss with EFSA experts the scientific requirements for health claims related to gut and immune function. The meeting addressed and provided further clarification to two main questions – which claimed effects are considered beneficial for human health, and which studies or outcome measures are appropriate for the substantiation of health claims.
In the area of gut and immune health claims, the meeting offered EFSA experts the opportunity to further explain the general approach used in the assessment of the claims, and provide clarifications on a number of issues. The discussions also showed there were many commonly held views, both among participants and EFSA experts – for instance, on how to substantiate health benefits related to gut function and defence against gut infections. In other areas such as claims related to immunity and claims on health effects of gut bacteria, the meeting was an opportunity to exchange views on how to demonstrate the health benefit.

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