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Health & Consumer Voice - January/February - 2012 Edition

EU moves towards more accurate and reliable health claims on food
EU Member States have endorsed a list of 222 permitted health claims for food in support of the EU’s efforts to make consumer information more accurate and reliable. The decision – taken at December’s meeting of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health – will help consumers to make healthier choices.

Permitted health claims are based on a scientific assessment by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) that validates the alleged health benefits of certain foods. EFSA has completed the authorisation process for over half of the 4 600 claims listed for assessment.

In a statement following the meeting, Commissioner Dalli recalled the Commission’s objective of guaranteeing a higher level of consumer protection through the nutrition and health claims Regulation. “Consumers tend to over-estimate the value of food products on which claims are made. We now have the tools to clean up the market from unsubstantiated and misleading health claims.”

The measure must now be endorsed by the European Parliament and Council before being published in the EU’s Official Journal.