23.03.2012 - Health claims are set to be drastically limited in the EU. On Wednesday 21 March the Environment Committee of the European Parliament confirmed a proposal of the European Commission to prohibit 1,600 health claims, most of them relating to probiotics.
Only 222 of the claims got the green light by the EU food watchdog EFSA, which carried out a scientific assessment of about 44,000 applications that were grouped to more general claims. British MEP Chris Davis and Finnish MEP Sirpa Pietkäinen had called on to reject the Commission's list, because they believed the list was flawed due to rigid assessment methods of the EFSA. Especially, probiotics developers and nutrition experts had criticised the EFSA for taking a pharma-like approach to assess efficacy of functional food without accepting studies with people who had i.e. diarrhea. However the members of the Parliament's Committee rejected the objection of their two colleagues. Consumer organisations such as BEUC said the vote will stop consumers from being misled by unsubstantiated or untruthful claims about foods.
12.05.2015 US pharma is coming to European biotech to fill their pipeline. Pfizer is paying €77.5m for an option on Dutch AM-Pharma, while Juno Therapeutics acquired German biotech Stage Cell Therapeutics for around €72m.
20.05.2015 The Scottish Government has announced it will double the amount of funds for rare diseases. The New Medicines Fund that was created last year for this purpose will be increased to £80m (€112m).
30.04.2015 The European Parliament has given the go-ahead on a new law limiting the use of harmful crop-based biofuel in the transport sector. The decision marks a breakthrough in the EU’s approach to biofuels.