Food Standards Agency
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Company found guilty of novel food breaches

On 5 August 2009 at Abertillery Magistrates Court, in Wales, Asphalia Food Products Ltd was found guilty with respect to two separate charges of placing a novel food onto the European market in breach of the Novel Food and Novel Food Ingredients Regulations 1997.

The prosecution was brought by Torfaen County Borough Council. The food supplements that were the subject of the charges are sold in the UK under the brand name Asphalia and contain the novel food ingredient Festuca arundinacea, which is a type of meadow grass. The supplements have been placed on the market by Asphalia Food Products Ltd without first seeking authorisation for the novel food ingredient.

What is a novel food or novel food ingredient?

A novel food is a food or food ingredient that does not have a significant history of consumption within the European Union before 15 May 1997, and a premarket safety evaluation is required for such food or ingredients before they can be marketed legally in the EU.

More information about novel foods and novel food ingredients, and their assessment, can be found at the link below.

About Asphalia

From the information available about this product, the Food Standards Agency has not identified any possible harmful affects on health.

There are four different varieties of Asphalia on the market:

     

  • Asphalia for Natural Sleep
  • Asphalia for Natural Radiance
  • Asphalia for Natural Protection
  • Asphalia for Weight Control

The Agency believes that the supplements have been on sale in the UK since 2007. They are sold in containers holding either 60 or 30 capsules.

The supplements are currently on sale in more than 400 health food shops across the UK. A complete distribution list is available on the company's website at the link below.

The supplements can also be bought from many online health food retailers based in the UK. The Agency is also aware that the supplements are on sale outside the European Community under the brand name Asphalia Don’t Disturb Me.

The manufacturer has indicated that Asphalia supplements produced in 2009 do not contain Festuca arundinacea but, to date, there has been no product recall and the products continue to be labelled as Festuca. In view of this, the number of Asphalia supplements containing Festuca arundinacea presently on sale is unknown.

For more information, read the FSA letter to trading standards services at UK local authorities.