Nutrition and Health Claims
FDF supports in principle Regulation (EC) 1924/2006
which harmonises the use of scientifically substantiated nutrition and health
and enables consumers to make informed and meaningful choices. However the
strict nature of the conditions for making claims could restrict product
as companies might not invest in R&D if they cannot communicate the benefits
a new product to consumers.
Regulation (EC) 1924/2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods was
on 20 December 2006 and came into effect on 1 July 2007, although a number of
the provisions are subject to transitional measures up to 2022 for trademarks.
- sets out general principles and conditions for all claims including the
provision for the EC to establish nutrient profiles for foods bearing claims
- lists authorised nutrition claims in the Annex;
- provides for a EC list of generally accepted health claims (Article 13.1);
- provides for a pre-market approval system for:
- claims based on ‘new’ science and/or proprietary data (Article 13.5); and
- disease risk reduction and children’s health (Article 14).
Nutrient profiles would restrict the use of claims on products which contain high levels of fats,
sugars and salt – if a product fails one of the nutrient profiles then the
product will not be allowed to bear any health claim. A nutrition claim will be
permitted provided that a claim about the failing nutrient is displayed with
prominence on the label.
A DG Sanco (now DG Sante) proposal went through interservice consultation in
but it was heavily criticised and the Commission President intervened.
Discussions to started again in January 2011, but these were further
delayed due to the difficulty in reaching agreement on the levels of fat, salt
and sugar, the product categories and the exemptions.
Discussions were expected to start again in 2012 but were further
In 2016 the Commission began a partial evaluation of Regulation (EC) No
1924/2006 on nutrition and health claims made on food with regard to: a). nutrient
profiles and b). health claims made on plants and their preparations (botanicals)
only. In April 2016, the European Parliament voted in favour of asking the European
Commission to review the scientific basis of the health and nutritional claims
legislation and, if appropriate, to delete the concept of nutrient profiles. The
Commission will need to take the Parliaments view into account, when it writes
its final report of this evaluation, which is expected by the end of 2017.
Nutrition claims will only be permitted if they are listed in the Annex to the Regulation. The
Annex has been amended to include the five fatty acid claims (source of omega-3
fatty acids, high omega 3 fatty-acids, high monounsaturated fat, high
polyunsaturated fat and high unsaturated fat) and further amended to include
the claim 'No Added Sodium/Salt' and to amend the conditions of use for the
Reduced [Name of the Nutrient] claim.
For Article 13.1 health claims a list of permitted claims (other than botanicals and claims for which
additional data is currently being assessed) has been drawn up by the EC based
The long awaited list has been published in the Community Register on the
Commission website along with the list of non-authorised claims. Non-authorised
claims were required to be removed from the market by 13 December 2012. FDF
however reached agreement with the Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO)
Enforcement Group on taking a pragmatic approach to the sell-through of
non-permitted Article 13.1 health claims after 14 December 2012, taking into
account steps taken by business to minimise stocks/labels and the shelf life of
Any additions of claims to the Article 13.1 list based on newly developed
scientific evidence and/or which include a request for the protection of
data (Article 13.5) are approved on a case by case basis following the
submission of a scientific dossier to EFSA. Seven health claims from the
hold” claims have subsequently been added to the list of authorised health
claims under Regulation (EU) No 535/2013 and Regulation (EU) No 1018/2013.
health claims, referring to the reduction of a risk factor in the development
a disease and health claims referring to children's development and health,
are the subject of separate approval on a case by case basis, following the
submission of a scientific dossier to EFSA.
Last reviewed: 06 May 2016