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The European Commission (EC) has launched the feedback mechanism on its draft measure regarding green tea extracts containing (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) used in foods including beverages, and food supplements.

The new measure would add green tea extracts containing EGCG to the Annex III of Regulation 1925/2006/EC under:

  • Part B – Restricted substances, under following condition of use: “Individual portion of food or food supplement for daily consumption shall contain less than 800 mg of (-)-epigallocatechin-3- gallate”. Moreover, following additional requirements are foreseen for the labelling. The label shall
    • provide the maximum number of portions of the product for daily consumption and a warning not to consume a daily amount of 800 mg of EGCG or more.
    • indicate the content of catechins and the proportion of EGCG per portion of the product.
    • include the following warnings:
      • Should not be consumed if you are already consuming other products containing green tea;
      • Should not be consumed by pregnant or lactating women, children below 18 years old;
      • Seek advice from a doctor on consumption of this product if you experience health problems;
      • Should not be consumed under fasting conditions.
  • Part C – Substances under community scrutiny, at any dosage.

Green tea infusions prepared in a traditional way and reconstituted drinks (containing at least 120 mg dry mass of extracts from tea in 100 mL) with an equivalent composition to traditional green tea infusions are excluded from the remit of the EC draft measure.

The procedure under Article 8 of Regulation (EC) No 1925/2006 on the addition of vitamins and minerals and of certain other substances to foods, was launched by the EC on its own initiative after receiving a request by Norway, Sweden and, Denmark in October 2015. The request from these three Countries was based on a scientific opinion issued by the National Food Institute of the Technical University of Denmark, and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

This new EU-wide maximum level is higher than those in the Member States that already restricted EGCG in food supplements.

The text of the EC draft measure and the public consultation is accessible on the following site of the EC: Food safety – restricting the use of green-tea catechins in foods.

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