Europe's food safety watchdog rejected 80% of proposed food-related general health claims in its three-year assessment applications from manufacturers, it said today (28 July).

Announcing an end to its evaluation programme (except for botanical substances and future proposed claims), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has transferred its opinions on 2,758 claims to the European Commission, which will make final judgements this year on the legality of these claims.

Brussels officials said a majority are currently used by manufacturers and retailers and they would have three months to appeal against negative rulings from the Commission. If they did not appeal, they would have to stop using the claims within six months.

Companies may also be able to re-submit claims, an EFSA spokesperson said. "Some decisions were made because of a lack of information," the spokesperson told just-food. If they have more data, a fresh application could be made.

Meanwhile, EFSA executive director Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle said the review "highlighted the importance of constructive dialogue between risk assessors, scientists, decision-makers and stakeholders".

EFSA's panel on dietetic products, nutrition and allergies released its last 35 review opinions today. Among its decisions, EFSA rejected claims that potassium or sodium salts of citric acid maintain normal bone health but accepted that eating monacolin K in red yeast rice helps maintain normal blood cholesterol.