Most consumers don't know what EFSA is

Experts find almost no German consumers know about the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), or understand the role it has in the approval of health claims for functional food products, according to experts.


The impact of having an EFSA approved health claim on your product may not be as high as you may think, according to consumer understanding expert Professor Stefanie Bröring and her team of researchers.


"Almost none of the German consumers understand the role of EFSA," said Bröring - who told NutraIngredients that because of this any health claims approved by EFSA that appear on products are not being recognised for their true value by consumers.


"I think there is a great dilemma for industry in spending a lot of money on getting a health claim from EFSA and then being in the situation where nobody on the consumer's side knows what EFSA is or understands it," she said.


"EFSA, health claims, and the entire approval process, are not known to general consumers."


Yet, Bröring and her group at the University of Applied Sciences Osnabrück asked a sample of consumers what they want from a health claim, the majority explained that they wanted an independent authority that was able to assess and approve it.


"That's EFSA," said the consumer understanding expert. "A lot of people were quite shocked when we explained that to them."


"I think that's a very important message. We need to make EFSA more accessible to consumers," she said.

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