EU committee vote backs 4 caffeine claims

By Annie Harrison-Dunn contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (PAFF) voted to back the Commission’s draft proposals in a meeting on Tuesday.© iStock.com / ratmaner
The Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (PAFF) voted to back the Commission’s draft proposals in a meeting on Tuesday.© iStock.com / ratmaner
A member state committee has voted to back the European Commission’s decision to authorise four health claims on caffeine and ban a final fifth. 

The Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (PAFF) – comprising of member state representatives and chaired by the Commission – voted to back the Commission’s draft proposals​ in a meeting this Tuesday (12 April)​.

The four claims set to be authorised are: 

  • “Caffeine contributes to an increase in endurance performance.”
  • “Caffeine contributes to an increase in endurance capacity.”
  • “Caffeine helps to increase alertness.”
  • “Caffeine helps to improve concentration.”​ 

The final rejected claim reads: “Caffeine contributes to a reduction in the rated perceived exertion/effort during exercise.”​ 

The claims have been on hold for five year since their initial efficacy approval by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) due to member state concerns on caffeine consumption. 

Recent movement on the issue follows the release of a much-anticipated caffeine risk assessment from EFSA adopted last April​, which concluded up to 400 mg of caffeine a day and 200 mg in a single session of two hours does not pose a health risk for general population adults.

The Commission’s draft proposals​ were sent to the European Parliament and member states on 29 March this year, with the deadline for comments set for 11 April.

So what happens next? 

A spokesperson for the Commission told us: "Member states will have to check translations. The European Parliament will have a three-month scrutiny period and that will lead to adoption by Commission in September at earliest."

However speaking to us upon the release of the proposals, the European Coffee Federation (ECF) said it thought the claims may not become law until year’s end. 

“Even though the EU member states have agreed, and the expert committee agreed to approve the claims, there is further debate to come,” ​said ECF director Tijmen de Vries.  

Related topics: Regulation & Safety

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