Health Claims

Definition

A health claim is a descriptor of the beneficial physiological effect of a nutrient on the human organism. Health claims are used for the promotion of products to consumers via all means of commercial communications - printed material, tv, radio and internet.

 Applicable Legislation

The nutrition and health claims regulation (Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 - NHCR) and its implementing regulation establishing an approved community list (Regulation (EU) No 432/2012 as amended) define the conditions of use for health claims on ingredients. The standards established through these pieces of legislation apply to commercial communications with consumers - i.e. labelling, presentation and advertising of products.

How does EU Health Claims system work?

The NHCR establishes a system for pre-market authorisation by the European Commission and European Parliament in cooperation with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Little margin of manoeuvre is left for the national regulator, and the courts of the Member States remain bound by what is stated in Union law.
The registry is amended and updated by comitology decisions that approve or reject additional health claims. The Health Claims registry represents a perpetual construction site within which certain elements remain unfinished. Numerous claims are ‘on hold’ and subject to re-evaluation while their continued use is permitted until a final decision has been reached. This is notably the case for health claims on botanicals where alternative regulatory options are under consideration. 

The Regulation applies to:

  • Ordinary food,
  • Fortified food,
  • Food supplements
  • Sports foods
  • Novel foods,

The Regulation applies to food, but doesn’t apply to medicinal products, foods for particular nutritional uses and  edible medical devices.

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Our Mission

EHPM represents the interests of specialist health product manufacturers and distributors in Europe. It works towards developing an appropriate regulatory framework throughout the EU for its members' products, and promotes industry best practices for product quality and safety.

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