The EU Commission has recently published a new proposal to amend its novel foods regulation in December 2013. This is the second proposal for reforming the current EU novel foods regulation (1997).
It seeks to address issues related to the scope of the regulation concerning new biotechnological developments such as cloning, but more importantly to respond to concerns regarding barriers faced by traditional foods exports from developing countries.
The new EU Commission proposal (2013) contains a simplified and faster procedure for market authorization of traditional foods from third countries. Although the new proposal does not address all concerns expressed by biodiversity-rich countries and BioTrade organizations over the last 15 years, it is a clear step forward in the right direction. For instance, it suggests a much better and commensurate process for the marketing approval of traditional foods and biodiversity-based products than the current status quo under the 1997 EU novel food regulation. A preliminary overview of the process suggested in the new proposal and its implications is presented in this paper.