On 28 October, the Plenary session of the European Parliament approved the Novel Foods Regulation by 359 to 202 votes with 127 abstentions, the text will now have to be ratified by the Council of the European Union before it enters into force.
The Regulation on Novel Foods 2013/0435(COD) aims to replace a 1997 regulation with updated rules, matching the progresses made in the sector. It adds foods consisting of ‘engineered nanomaterials’ to the list of criterion to be considered for novel foods and therefore subjected to pre-market authorisation.
In the text that was approved by Members of Parliament, 'engineered nanomaterials' are defined as:
'(f) "engineered nanomaterial" means any intentionally produced material that has one or more dimensions of the order of 100 nm or less or that is composed of discrete functional parts, either internally or at the surface, many of which have one or more dimensions of the order of 100 nm or less, including structures, agglomerates or aggregates, which may have a size above the order of 100 nm but retain properties that are characteristic of the nanoscale.Properties that are characteristic of the nanoscale include:(i) those related to the large specific surface area of the materials considered; and/or(ii) specific physico-chemical properties that are different from those of the non-nanoform of the same material.'
The European Parliament also added a provision asking for this new definition to be replace the existing definition featured in the Regulation on the provision of Food Information to Consumers (EU) No 1169/2011.
Please follow this link to read the NIA position statement on the Novel Foods Regulation and this link to read the NIA Members Briefing on the Novel Foods Regulation.