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Health and Nutrition Claims on Food

EU Legislation

Corrigendum (OJ L12, p3, 18/01/2007) to Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 (OJ L404, p9, 30/12/2006 ) of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods

Amended by

 Consolidated version Regulation (EC) No. 1924/2006  ( 29th Nov 2012)

 

Implementing Rules

  • Commission Regulation (EC) No 353/2008 (OJ L109, p11, 19/04/2008) of 18 April 2008 establishing implementing rules for applications for authorisation of health claims as provided for in Article 15 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council
  • Commission Regulation (EU) No 432/2012  (OJ L136, p1, 25/05/2012) of 16 May 2012 establishing a list of permitted health claims made on foods, other than those referring to the reduction of disease risk and to children’s development and health
    Amended by:
  • Commission Regulation (EU) No 536/2013 (OJ L160, p4, 12/06/2013) of 11 June 2013 amending Regulation (EU) No 432/2012 establishing a list of  permitted health claims made on foods other than those referring to the reduction of disease risk and to children’s development and health
  • Commission Regulation (EU) No 851/2013 (OJ L235, p3, 04/09/2013) of 3 September 2013 authorising certain health claims made on foods, other than those referring to the reduction of disease risk and to children’s development and health and amending Regulation (EU) No 432/2012(OJ L282, p15, 24/10/2013) of 23 October 2013 amending Regulation (EU) No 432/2012
  • Commission Regulation (EU) No 40/2014 (OJ L14, p8, 18/01/2014) of 17 January 2014 authorising a health claim made on foods, other than those referring to the reduction of disease risk and to children's development and health and amending Regulation (EU) No 432/2012

Consolidated version of Regulation (EU) No 432/2012 ( as at 2 January 2014) 

 

 

National Legislation

  •  European Communities (Nutrition and Health Claims made on Food ) Regulations 2014  (S.I. No. 11 of 2014  

     

General Provisions

General labelling provisions are contained in Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers. This legislation generally prohibits the use of information that would mislead the purchaser or attribute medicinal properties to food. This Regulation on nutrition and health claims complements the general principles in Regulation (EU) No.1169/2011 and lays down specific provisions concerning the use of nutrition and health claims concerning foods to be delivered as such to the consumer.

There is a wide variety of claims currently used in the labelling and advertising of foods and under Regulation (EC) 1924/2006 which has applied since the 1st July 2007, it is necessary to ensure that the substances for which a claim is made have been shown to have a beneficial nutritional or physiological effect. In order to ensure that the claims made are truthful, the substance that is the subject of the claim must be present (or in the case of a reduced claim present in suitably reduced quantities) in the final product in quantities that are sufficient to produce the nutritional or physiological effect claimed. The substance must also be available to be used by the body ( bio available). In addition, and where appropriate, a significant amount of the substance producing the claimed nutritional or physiological effect should be provided by a quantity of the food that can reasonably be expected to be consumed.

A nutrition or health claim may not be made if it is inconsistent with generally accepted nutrition and health principles or if it encourages or condones excessive consumption of any food or disparages good dietary practice.

A list of permitted nutrition claims and their specific conditions of use is included in the Annex to Regulation (EC) No. 1924/2006, examples of claims include claims such as low fat, fat free, sugars-free.

  

Authorisation and refusal of certain health claims

Regulation (EC) 1924/2006 allows for the establishment of a European Union Register of nutrition and health claims made on food. The EU Register will include the following:

  • the nutrition claims and the conditions applying to them as set out in the Annex of Regulation (EC) 1924/2006;
  • restrictions adopted in accordance with Article 4(5) of Regulation (EC) 1924/2006;
  • the authorised health claims and the conditions applying to them provided for in Articles 13(3) and (5), 14(1), 19(2), 21, 24(2) and 28(6) and the national measures referred to in Article 23(3) of Regulation (EC) 1924/2006
  • a list of rejected health claims and the reasons for their rejection.

This EU Register of nutrition and health claims has been established and is updated at regular intervals.The Register lists authorised health claims that can be used by all food business operators provided that they comply with the particular conditions of use of the authorised claim and with the principles and requirements of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006. It also lists the rejected health claims.

 Generic Health Claims

Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 exempts from its scope specific generic descriptors (denominations) which have traditionally been used to indicate a particularity of a class of foods or beverages which could imply an effect on health following an application by the food business operators concerned.    Regulation (EU) No 907/2013 sets out the rules according to which such applications must be made. It permits  trade associations representing specific food sectors to submit applications on behalf of their members, in order to avoid multiple applications in respect of the same generic descriptor (denomination). Generic descriptors (denominations) should correspond to a period of at least 20 years proven usage within the Member State(s) prior to the date of entry into force of the Regulation  (11 October 2013). 

 

Disease risk claims and claims referring to children's development and health

Under Article 14 of Regulation (EC) 1924/2006, reduction of disease risk claims and claims referring to children's development and health may be made where they have been authorised in accordance with the procedure laid down in Articles 15, 16, 17 and 19 of the Regulation. Once authorised, they will be included in an EU list of permitted claims together with all the necessary conditions for their use. The prohibition in Article 7(3) of Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011 which prevents labelling from attributing to any foodstuff the property of preventing, treating or curing a human disease, or referring to such properties, also applies.

Implementing Guidance

Commission Regulation (EC) No 353/2008 establishes implementing rules for the following applications:

  • applications for authorisation, submitted in accordance with Article 15 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006; and
  • applications for the inclusion of a claim in the list provided for in Article 13(3) submitted in accordance with Article 18 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006.

The Regulation requires that each application covers only one relationship between a nutrient or other substance, or food or category of food, and a single claimed effect. The Annex toCommission Regulation (EC) No 353/2008 sets out the technical rules for the preparation and presentation of the application for health claims

In January 2008 the EU Commission published  Guidance on the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods: Conclusions of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health

Last reviewed: 2/12/2015

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