Written QeA to EU Commission – Performance-Enhancing Substances in Foods for Sportspeople

Question for written answer to the Commission

Alain Cadec (PPE) – 15 April 2015

Subject: Foods for sportspeople

All the EU Member States have agreed to take the steps required to enforce the international agreements concluded in cooperation with the World Anti-Doping Agency, the aim of which is to ensure that foodstuffs and supplements intended for sportspeople are completely free from performance-enhancing substances.

The lack of harmonisation at EU level in this area has meant that Member States have taken a range of approaches when establishing quality assurance systems designed to ensure that foods intended for sportspeople do not contain performance-enhancing substances. This is particularly true when it comes to labelling. The result has been a proliferation of standards and logos, and confusion for consumers.

Article 13 of Regulation (EU) No 609/2013 requires the Commission to submit a report to Parliament and the Council by 20 July 2015 on the advisability of introducing specific provisions relating to food intended for sportspeople.

Will this report cover the issue of ensuring that foods intended for sportspeople are free from performance-enhancing substances? Does the Commission intend to stress the need for the provisions concerning dietary requirements and those relating to performance-enhancing drugs to be consistent?

Given the current confusion, action should be taken to ensure that foods intended for sports people do not contain any performance-enhancing substances.

Answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the Commission – 15 June 2015

Article 13 of Regulation (EU) No 609/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council on food intended for infants and young children, food for special medical purposes and total diet replacement for weight control(1) requires the Commission, after consulting the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), to present to the European Parliament and to the Council a report on the necessity, if any, of provisions for food intended for sportspeople. Such a report may, if necessary, be accompanied by an appropriate legislative proposal. As specified in Recital 33 of that regulation, the main focus of the report should be whether provisions are necessary to ensure the protection of consumers.

In preparation of the report, the Commission has requested an external contractor to carry out a study for gathering relevant information, among others, about the current market of food intended for sportspeople. This exercise includes extensive consultation of relevant stakeholders and competent authorities of the Member States. On the basis of the study and after having consulted EFSA, the Commission will present its report as requested by Regulation (EU) No 609/2013. The outcome of the report cannot at the moment be anticipated.

(1) OJ L 181, 29.6.2013, p. 35.

(Source: EU Parliament)

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