This list was approved by national Ministries and scrutinised by the European Parliament before publication. It represents the outcome of the work undertaken by the Commission and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on health claims submitted by member states on behalf of their food industry and consumers.
This follows calls from consumer organisations for clearer rules and tighter controls, amidst concern that health claims could be less than informative or be misleading, by accident or design.
The authorised claims – all of which must be accurate, truthful, understandable and substantiated by science - will be listed in the Union Register of nutrition and health claims made on foods, an interactive database, hosted on the Commission's website.
John Dalli, Commissioner in charge of Health and Consumer Policy, said:
"Today's decision is the culmination of years of work and marks a major milestone in regulating health claims on food. The EU-wide list of permitted health claims will allow consumers everywhere in the EU to make an informed choice. Non-scientifically backed claims will have to be removed from the market after a short transition period."
Claims not authorised for inclusion in the permitted list will be inserted into the "Union Register" making it clear why they are not authorised.
Food manufacturers will have a period of 6 months to adapt their practices to the new requirements.
From the beginning of December 2012 all claims that are not authorised and not on hold/under consideration shall be prohibited.
National competent authorities are responsible for enforcing the legislation and can provide food business operators with useful advice on how to comply with it.
The list of permitted health claim was adopted by the Commission today after scrutiny by the European Parliament and the Council and will be published in the Official Journal.