European Commission adopts landmark list of permitted health claims

21 May 2012

Health claims on food labelling and in advertising, for example on the role of calcium and bone health or vitamin C and the immune system, have become vital marketing tools to attract consumers' attention. Therefore EU consumers expect accurate information on products they buy, in particular on the health claims the products may put forward.
A list of 222 health claims has now been approved by the Commission. This list is based on sound scientific advice, will be used throughout the EU and will also help to remove misleading claims from the market before the end of the year. The list also provides legal clarity to food manufacturers on the health claims they can or cannot make. The administrative burden will also be reduced, since all enforcement authorities will from now on be able to rely on one list of authorised health claims and their conditions of use to verify if a claim is misleading or not.
Food manufacturers will have a period of 6 months to adapt their practices to the new requirements. As from the beginning of December 2012 all claims that are not authorised and not on hold/under consideration shall be prohibited (Press Release European Commission, 16 May 2012).