US companies need to get up to speed with European Union health claim changes or face big hits on existing trade or missed opportunities, according to the chief of a leading UK supplements group.
Martin Last, the chairman of the UK Health Food Manufacturer’s Association (HFMA), came to Las Vegas to give a presentation to an eager Supply Side West crowd, where he urged US companies to pay close attention to the imminent health claims regime that could drastically alter their business plans.
“We come here to present to the American manufacturers on what’s happening in Europe – particularly on health claims because we are reaching that point now where it will be law and there is not much time left between now and December and we want to make sure that the American manufacturers are fully aware of what is happening with health claims and what they need to do about it,” Last said after his presentation.
He added: “The nature of the American market is that they tend to look at their domestic market first. A lot of them do have aspirations for export and are maybe not aware that they have to trade in a different way in Europe.”
“It’s trying to show them that there is a way to do this and there is a way to be able to bring their products to market.”
Last said his group continued to work to have European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) negative health claim opinions modified before they are writ into law – expected in the first quarter of 2012.