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18th June 2007

NEW FSA GUIDELINES FOR GOJI BERRIES

The Health Food Manufacturers’ Association (HFMA) welcomes the announcement from the Food Standards Agency that Goji berries are not to be classified as a ‘novel food’.

Novel foods legislation applies to foods and ingredients where there is no evidence of ‘significant consumption’ anywhere in the EU before May 1997. An apparent lack of evidence led to an FSA investigation which, in turn, triggered urgent action by the HFMA, the leading trade association for the UK’s natural health products industry.

Feedback from the HFMA’s associates across Europe was utilised to produce a comprehensive, responsible and convincing dossier documenting evidence of widespread Goji berry consumption for more than 10 years.

This evidence included sale of the berries in Chinese food stores; use of the berries in soft and alcoholic drinks; published recipes incorporating Goji berries; and both a Belgian decree and a German Court decision classifying the berries as a food.

The breadth of this evidence played a major role in convincing the FSA to rule Goji berries as ‘non-novel’. The FSA had previously emphasised that they had no concerns about the safety of eating these foods.

The popularity of Goji berries has grown rapidly in recent months as a result of endorsement from ‘healthy eating’ experts such as Dr Gillian McKeith and celebrities including Madonna.

-ENDS-

Issued on behalf of: HFMA
Issued by: Pegasus PR
Media Contacts: LISA BRADLEY or TERRI FOSTER at Pegasus PR on 01903 821550 / lbradley@pegasuspr.co.uk or tfoster@pegasuspr.co.uk

The HFMA

The Health Food Manufacturers’ Association (HFMA) is the voice of the UK’s natural health industry and represents more than 130 manufacturers and suppliers of natural health products.

Founded in 1965, the HFMA is a not-for-profit organisation which operates long-standing codes of practice, including a Code of Advertising Practice recognised by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), to ensure that member companies adhere to high standards and offer good quality, safe products supported by responsible, lawful information.

For further information about the HFMA, visit www.hfma.co.uk.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Pegasus Public Relations (Worthing) in the following categories: Health, Food & Drink, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.