FSA News Item, 18 October 2006
A new European regulation aimed at increasing consumer protection in relation to nutrition and health claims made on food, will require such claims to be on a Community list of permitted claims.
Under the new legislation, Member States will be responsible for compiling those health claims eligible to be considered for the Community list. Although this legislation is yet to come into effect, the Agency has already opened its list for food businesses to submit eligible claims.
To be eligible for consideration, the claim must be based on generally accepted science and relate to the role of a nutrient or other substance in growth, development and functions of the body, psychological and behavioural functions, or slimming and weight control. Full details can be found at the link below.
To maintain consistency, claims must be submitted using the required template and must be accompanied by references to scientific justification and conditions of use. Once submitted, the Agency will add eligible claims to the UK list, which will be maintained on this website. Development of the list will therefore allow food businesses to check if the claims they wish to make have been included, and take action if not.
Although Member States will have 12 months to complete this list once the final Regulation is in force, the Agency has set a target date of nine months for food businesses to submit claims for inclusion. This will allow time for the Agency to compile the UK's proposed list. The final Community list will depend on assessment of the scientific justification by the European Food Safety Authority and agreement of Member States in Standing Committee.
Claims that are not eligible for inclusion on the UK list, such as claims based on emerging rather than generally accepted scientific evidence, may be authorised via other routes.
The following is taken from a separate page provided by the FSA:
UK list of health claims
The following text outlines the process for compiling claims under Article 13 of the European Regulation on nutrition and health claims made on food.
A European Regulation on nutrition and health claims made on food will, among other things, require that nutrition and health claims be authorised and added to a Community list of permitted claims. One route to have health claims authorised and listed requires Member States to submit a candidate list to the Commission, to be validated by the European Food Safety Authority, and to be adopted as the basis of the Community list. The Food Standards Agency is responsible for compiling the UK national list and is now inviting food businesses to submit eligible claims for inclusion.
To be eligible, claims must comply with the criteria set out in Article 13 of the Regulation; that is, they must describe or refer to the role of a nutrient or other substance in growth, development and functions of the body, psychological and behavioural functions or satiety, slimming and weight control, and be accompanied by references to generally accepted scientific evidence and be well understood by the average consumer.
Below is a link to a document that provides further information on Article 13 and guidance on the UK process for the compilation of this list and how businesses should go about submitting claims. You must read this information before attempting to submit any candidate claims.
The target date for the submission of claims to the Agency is the ninth month following the entry into force of the Regulation. An exact deadline will be given once the Regulation has been published.
Businesses are asked to submit claims to the Agency using the template given below. To help you see how claims submitted to the Agency should look, we have provided some examples in the table available at the link below. After receiving a claim, the Agency will ensure that it is suitable for submission under Article 13 and that the references are sufficient, before publishing it on its website food.gov.uk. See the attached letter below. The table below will be updated as submitted claims are added to it. The Agency will aim to order the claims alphabetically, by substance in column one (food category, food, food component).
The Regulation will allow health claims within the scope of this national list to continue to be used – whether on the list or not – under current national legislation until adoption of the Community list (expected to be three years after publication of the Regulation).
The claims listed in the updated table of health claims below do not represent claims approved by the Food Standards Agency and, until adoption of the Community list, you must ensure that you comply with current legislation. This list is provisional and claims on it will not be guaranteed a place on the final Community list of permitted claims.
For further information, see copies of the following on this site: