Friday, March 13 2009
Evansville-based Mead Johnson have received a scientific endorsement for a health claim on infant formula by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). It is the first infant formula to receive such an endorsement under new 2006 European Commission regulations. An EFSA panel returned a favorable opinion on Mead Johnson's claim that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) contributes to the visual development of infants.
Mead Johnson Announces European Endorsement
Evansville, Ind. -- Mead Johnson Nutrition Company (NYSE: MJN) announced today that it is the first infant formula manufacturer to receive scientific endorsement for a health claim on infant formula by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) recently published their favorable opinion for a health claim on docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and the visual development of infants. The NDA agreed that the scientific evidence submitted by Mead Johnson supported the statement that “DHA contributes to the visual development of infants.” To bear this claim, the NDA panel stated that a formula should contain at least 0.3% of the total fatty acids DHA. The EFSA opinion states that, “the Panel could not have reached this conclusion without considering the studies claimed by the applicant (Mead Johnson) as proprietary.”
To date, this is the only positive EFSA opinion on a Health Claim for infants under the new, stringent 2006 European Commission Regulations. This regulation restricts the use of health claims on foods, including foods for infants and young children, without EFSA endorsement of the scientific evidence and adoption by the European Commission. Only health claims compliant with this new regulation will be allowed in the European Union.
“Mead Johnson is extremely pleased with EFSA’s positive opinion,” said Dirk Hondmann, senior vice president, Global Research and Development for Mead Johnson. “Their opinion recognizes the value and quality of our long-standing strategy of investing in pediatric nutrition research and development, and it exemplifies our mission to create nutritional brands and products trusted to give infants and children the best start in life.”
Mead Johnson, a global leader in pediatric nutrition, manufactures the Enfa branded products for infants and children. For nearly a decade, the company has been providing a range of infant formulas that are supplemented with at least 0.3% of the total fatty acids as DHA – a level derived from the company’s evaluation of the levels in human milk worldwide. Researchers who have conducted studies of infant formula that included lower levels of DHA have not consistently demonstrated improved outcomes when compared with formula not containing DHA. More than 100 studies have shown that DHA is an important nutrient for mental and visual development.
Source: Inside INdiana Business & Mead Johnson Nutrition