The European Commission has adopted a proposed regulation on nutrition and health claims made on foods, including food supplements.

As consumers have become increasingly concerned about what they eat and how this affects their health, the food industry has responded by providing more detailed nutrition labelling and often making claims about the beneficial effects of certain foods. The existing EU rules on labelling and nutrition labelling, which do not define conditions for the use of nutrition claims and do not allow health claims to be made, are often not properly enforced, the Commission said.

Consumers can therefore be misled by claims that have not been properly substantiated. The proposed regulation will give legal security and address these issues by specifying the conditions for the use of nutrition and health claims, prohibiting certain claims and scientifically evaluating the use of claims in relation to the nutritional profile of foods. No food product will as a consequence be prohibited but claims on food products will have a true meaning for the consumer, the Commission said.

David Byrne, commissioner for health and consumer protection, commented: “The implementation of this proposal will allow both industry and consumers to benefit from the correct use of claims. Consumers will receive accurate and meaningful information while food producers will be able to use serious and scientifically substantiated claims as a marketing tool without being drowned out by the many unsubstantiated and inaccurate claims that currently exist on the market. Furthermore, the creation of a regulation at EU-level will enable operators to compete on a fair and equal basis in all EU Member States.”

To read further information about this regulation, click here.