New EU legislation will enable companies who register health claims on food in one European Union country to market the product using the same health claims in other member states.

Under the new initiative, companies are able to apply for health claims on functional foods based on clinical trials. Any such claims would have to be supported by scientific evidence. The European Food Safety Authority would approve the claim registered by an appropriate national authority.

The move has been welcomed by functional food manufacturers such as Nutri Pharma.

"Until now, Nutri Pharma has sold its patented cholesterol-reducing products in the Nordic countries and in Russia and the CIS….The change in EU legislation will enable us to protect our products in a rapidly growing functional food market and to market them with scientific validation. The significant investment we have made in high quality clinical trials puts us in a unique position to utilise the new legislation," Trond Syvertsen, CEO of Nutri Pharma, commented.