EFSA consults on dietary reference intake levels

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags European union Nutrition Efsa

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has opened a public consultation on Dietary Reference Values (DRVs) as it continues to work toward establishing common European Union-wide recommended nutrient levels by the end of 2009.

While much work has been done in this area by EFSA’s precursor, the Scientific Committee on Food (SCF), as well as other national bodies and academic institutions, EFSA is calling for more input into its draft opinion.

The public consultation has been launched by EFSA’s Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) and it closes on December 15.

Existing recommendations are based around levels established by SCF in 1993.

“Since then, new scientific data have become available for some of the nutrients, and scientific advisory bodies in many EU member states and in the US have reported on recommended dietary intakes,”​ EFSA wrote in its draft DRV opinion published in April, and which is the subject of the public consultation, along with one on water.

Water was included following a request from the EC and aimed to establish DRVs from all water sources including food moisture as well as drinking and mineral water.

An opinion on energy, water and macro-nutrients (carbohydrates, fats and proteins) was likely in January, 2009, EFSA spokesperson Lucia de Luca told NutraIngredients.com.

Work on micronutrients the body requires in only trace levels such as iron, zinc and selenium will proceed from mid-2009.

EFSA said the public consultation was necessary, “in order to ensure that the Panel takes into account all available data and benefits from the experience of public health bodies in the European Union (EU) and worldwide.”

De Luca said all work on DRVs was expected to be completed by the end of 2009.

“Obviously this is a complex area and while there is much work that has been done in the area, there is more work being completed all the time and revision of existing work completed,”​ she said.

The establishment of uniform DRVs is designed to ensure a diet that provides energy and nutrients for optimal growth, development, function and health during the whole life.”

It seeks to remove confusion that exists over competing classification systems including ​Dietary Reference Values and Recommended Daily Allowances.

“To ensure a consistent approach the Panel has elaborated a draft opinion on the principles for establishing Dietary Reference Values. Dietary Reference Values include the complete set of nutrient recommendations and reference values such as the average requirement, the adequate intake level and the lower threshold intake,”​ EFSA said.

A catalogue of some of SCF’s work in the area can be found here​.

To submit comment on DRVs click here​.

To submit comment on proposed DRVs for water click here​.

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