New Guidance from EFSA on Scientific Requirements for Health Claims

The European Commission has on 16 May 2012 adopted a list of 222 permitted health claims on foods. All permitted claims will be listed in the Union Register of nutrition and health claims on foods as required by the Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods. The purpose of the Regulation is to ensure that the substances for which a health claim is made have been shown to have a beneficial nutritional or physiological effect.

The EU-wide list of permitted health claims will be available online and consists of claims which are based on generally accepted scientific evidence. The aim of the European Union is to ensure that all marketing of foodstuffs within the European Union is clear and accurate, and pursuant to the new list consumers will be able to make well-informed choices on what they consume. In addition, the list clarifies which statements food manufactures may use in their marketing and will also reduce the administrative burden of enforcement authorities’ since all permitted claims are expressed in one list.

Health claims approved by the Commission will be authorized throughout the European Union and foods bearing misleading claims will be eliminated from the market. Food manufactures will have a transition period of six months to comply with new requirements since all unauthorized claims or claims still on hold/under consideration shall be prohibited as from December 2012.

Roschier, Attorneys Ltd. - Finland