Westminster Food & Nutrition Forum

Novel foods in the UK - research, safety, and the evolving regulatory landscape

Morning, Thursday, 16th January 2020

Central London


This seminar will discuss the regulation and legal status of new and emerging novel foods - as well as the impact of Brexit on novel food regulatory processes.

The seminar will be an opportunity to discuss developments around the regulation of foods that are emerging or newly classified as novel foods, and the regulatory response to new product developments in food, nutrition and health.

It comes with:

  • Recent proposals in the European Parliament for plant-based products to be banned from using meat designations;
  • Insect food products receiving novel food status and requiring approval from January 2020; and
  • The European Commission’s update earlier this year to classify products including cannabinoids (CBD) as novel, as a history of consumption cannot be demonstrated.

The agenda

Keynote contribution:

  • Emerging trends in novel foods - with Professor Peter Gregory, Chair, Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes.

Further sessions on:

  • The potential for novel foods - priorities for research and innovation;
  • Managing the introduction of new and emerging novel foods - food safety, the use of descriptors and developing a regulatory framework;
  • Novel food regulation post-Brexit - convergence, opportunities and priorities going forward:
    • The evolving regulatory landscape - a view from Europe;
    • Novel food crops and regulation;
    • Food sector innovation, safety assurance and market access;
    • Nutritional health claims in novel foods - latest developments;
    • International case study - novel food regulation in practice; and
  • Next steps for novel food regulation in the UK.

Marketing and the evolving regulatory landscape

Discussion will look at the role of descriptors in food regulation and safety.

Delegates will consider what lessons can be learnt from the formation of regulation around insect-based food and how regulation should adapt to emerging trends in novel foods - including the increasing use of plant-based food and the positioning of CBD as a novel food.

It also follows recent findings from the House of Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee that there is no evidence of vegetarian burgers being misleading and legislative action not being required.

Novel food regulation post Brexit

Attendees will discuss the regulatory system in the UK for novel foods and the impact that Brexit will have on these processes, looking at the future of novel food regulation and regulatory convergence - in areas such as health claims and regulation of novel food crops.

Drawing on case studies on international approaches to food regulation - delegates will also discuss the ways in which innovation and the application of technology is changing the UK food sector and how regulation can adapt to this in a way that safeguards product safety whilst but does not hinder innovation or slow routes to market.

Keynote Speaker

Professor Peter Gregory

Chair, Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes

Keynote Speaker

Professor Peter Gregory

Chair, Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes


Kathryn Miller

Innovation Lead, Food and Nutrition, Innovate UK

Sam Jennings

Fellow and Chair, Food Regulatory Special Interest Group, Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) and Director, Berry Ottaway & Associates

Mike Harlington

Chair, Cannabis Trades Association

Sian Edmunds

Partner, Burges Salmon

Professor Huw Jones

Professor of Translational Genomics for Plant Breeding, Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, Aberystwyth University