Food Standards Agency proposes ban on placenta products

02 August 2014
Volume 22 · Issue 8

The Food Standards Agency has announced that in their view, having consulted their European counterparts, placenta is a novel food. If confirmed, placenta's classification as novel food will effectively ban the marketing and sale of placenta products until a decision is taken on a European Union-wide authorisation of the product following a pre-marketing safety assessment (Mesure, 2014).

The decision by the Food Standards Agency threatens the future of the Independent Placenta Encapsulation Network (IPEN), and other placenta product producers, established some 3 years ago to meet demand created by the trend for eating placenta. Typically, members of the network charge £150 to create capsules from a woman's placenta and £25 to make a placenta smoothie. IPEN argue that ingesting the organ after birth can help women produce more breast milk, bleed less and help reduce the incidence of postnatal depression.

The ruling by the Food Standards Agency follows action under domestic UK environmental health law against a producer of placenta products. Two Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notices, under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013, regulation 8, were issued to the director of the IPEN by her local council environmental health department.

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