Friday, October 20, 2006

Health Claim legislation

A new European regulation aimed at increasing consumer protection in relation to nutrition and health claims made on food, will require such claims to be on a Community list of permitted claims.

Under the new legislation, Member States will be responsible for compiling those health claims eligible to be considered for the Community list. Although this legislation is yet to come into effect, the Agency has already opened its list for food businesses to submit eligible claims.
To be eligible for consideration, the claim must be based on generally accepted science and relate to the role of a nutrient or other substance in growth, development and functions of the body, psychological and behavioural functions, or slimming and weight control. Full details can be found at the link below.
To maintain consistency, claims must be submitted using the required template and must be accompanied by references to scientific justification and conditions of use. Once submitted, the Agency will add eligible claims to the UK list, which will be maintained on this website. Development of the list will therefore allow food businesses to check if the claims they wish to make have been included, and take action if not.
Although Member States will have 12 months to complete this list once the final Regulation is in force, the Agency has set a target date of nine months for food businesses to submit claims for inclusion. This will allow time for the Agency to compile the UK's proposed list. The final Community list will depend on assessment of the scientific justification by the European Food Safety Authority and agreement of Member States in Standing Committee.
Claims that are not eligible for inclusion on the UK list, such as claims based on emerging rather than generally accepted scientific evidence, may be authorised via other routes. Contact the Food Standards Agency for more information at: nutritionandhealthclaims@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk
Further information about the list and how companies should go about submitting claims for inclusion can be found at the link below.
UK list of health claims

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