IFST Conference – Goodbye PARNUTS, Hello FSG

On 20 July 2016, Directive 2009/39/EC on foodstuffs intended for particular nutritional uses (PARNUTS) was repealed and replaced with Regulation (EU) 609/2013 on Foods for Specific Groups (FSG). This includes food intended for infants and young children, food for special medical purposes and total diet replacement for weight control.

On 1 March 2017 the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) held a conference (organised by the Food Law Steering Group), to discuss the aforementioned regulation changes, why they came about and what it actually means. Presentations focused on meal replacements for weight control, sports products, young child formula and the labelling of gluten-free foods.

Noel Griffin, Department of Health, opened the conference with an overview of what has changed, and the relevant legislation to FSG. FSG came about to simplify the regulatory framework, make it easier for Member States to implement and enforce along with increasing compliance.

The new regulation no longer includes food intended for sportspeople and young-child formula. Both of these are now regulated under General Food Law.

There are mixed views concerning the regulation change for foods intended for sportspeople, with some parties believing that it stimulated innovation. However, there are concerns over the legislation changes for young child formula. BSNA will continue to argue for specific legislative changes to ensure these products are sufficiently regulated to protect the vulnerable group they are intended for.