More than 100 scientists from across Europe have signed up to a campaign urging EFSA to rethink its health claims approval process for food products containing probiotics and prebiotics.

The Gut Health campaign was launched by three gut scientists, and calls on EFSA to be "crystal clear" in its scientific requirements. The group said EFSA's statement that the approvals process was "a learning process for all of us" did not do justice to the "hundreds of top-quality research papers related to the health benefits of ­probiotics".

It also argued some of EFSA's standards were too rigid. EFSA needed to amend its regulations to allow claims related to pre- and probiotics to be considered "through a broader mandate", the group said.

The campaign has attracted 118 signatories, ­including 16 UK scientists.