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May 5, 2006

GERMANY: Probiotic supplement approved by court

Food supplement Lactobact omni FOS has been cleared as a non-medicinal product in Germany by the country’s Higher Administrative Court and is now freely marketable.

Food supplement Lactobact omni FOS has been cleared as a non-medicinal product in Germany by the country’s Higher Administrative Court and is now freely marketable.

It follows legal action taken by producer HLH Bio Pharma Vertriebs and its Dutch supplier Winclove Bio Industries.

German authorities initially classified the product, containing probiotic bacterial strains with digestive functions, as a medicinal product.

The lactobact powdered product has been marketed as a food supplement in the Netherlands for more than ten years.

Lawyer Thomas Büttner said: “The judgement of the Higher Administrative Court has clarified that the bacterial cultures used in Lactobact omni FOS can freely be marketable as food. However, the argumentation produced by the court cannot automatically be transferred to all other probiotic bacterial cultures and all other imaginable strains without further considerations. It must be examined in every single case which bacterial cultures in which dosage are used.”

The culture can be dissolved in water or used for the preparation of probiotic yoghurt to contribute to a well-balanced intestinal flora.

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