Katia Merten-Lentz

Partner and Head of EU Food and Feed Law Team, Keller and Heckman LLP

Katia is a specialist in European food and feed law and agricultural issues. Her practice focuses on food innovation, including novel foods and alternative protein sources. Katia supports clients across the food industry to authorise and market novel foods and ingredients. Based on her expertise she works regularly with academic institutions, European and International professional bodies and commercial organisations. She has degrees in EU competition law and corporate law and has been with Keller and Heckman since 2015.

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Whose helping with health claims? The vexed relationship between EFSA, the EC and industry

Sports-oriented consumers are more demanding than most when it comes to the clarity and reliability of the health claims made for the products they buy – which means it’s in the industry’s interests to be rigorous. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has been accused by many of taking a hard stance on health claim authorisation, yet it claims to be merely following the lead of EU regulators, who demand the highest standards of scientific assessment. Whose really there to help industry? Katia’s presentation assesses the relationship between EFSA, the EU and sports food manufacturers and considers whether there needs to be a specific regulatory framework for sports food or whether general EU food law will suffice.

  • What we want – how will the EU respond to the industry’s demand for a sports related regulatory framework?
  • Recognising benefits – will EFSA’s confirmation of the health benefits of glycaemic carbohydrates encourage an adaptation of the current regulatory framework?
  • Stalling innovation – as the number of health claim approvals decreases, might companies cancel investments in health related R&D?
  • Fat, sugar and salt – will consumer opinion, voiced by NGOs, drive the European Commission to take actionv
  • Working effectively – how can EFSA help organisations work with and influence EU policy makers?