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.
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03.07.2015 Biotech giant Biogen is investing CHF1bn in a new pharmaceutical production plant in the Swiss town of Luterbach. Noted as one of the world’s oldest biotech firms, Biogen will create up to 400 jobs at the new plant.
02.07.2015 Dutch biotech Amarna and Austrian Biomarker research centre CBmed have joined forces to develop several immunotherapies, including therapies against cancer and diabetes type 2. The joint venture will develop Amarna’s next generation viral vector platform.
30.06.2015 Pharma giant Novartis has bumped up its neuroscience portfolio with the recent purchase of Australian biotech Spinifex for a US$200m upfront payment plus US$500 in milestone payments. The acquisition is centred on Spinifex’ mid-stage pain drug EMA401.
24.06.2015 Swedish scientists have created artificial neurons that are capable of mimicking the function of human nerve cells. The researchers hope that, once minituarised, they may one day be used to restore disturbed neural function.
22.06.2015 For the 31st time, the ACHEMA has drawn the global chemical engineering and the process industry to Frankfurt. Although still overshadowed by petrol, the biobased economy is getting ready to step out into the limelight.