The Regulations implement Commission Directive 96/8/EC on foods intended for use in energy-restricted diets for weight reduction.
After 31 March 1999 it will be an offence to sell or advertise total diet replacements or meal replacements which do not comply with these Regulations.
In the related Press Release, the following information is given:
New labelling and nutritional rules will help prevent any false claims about weight-loss and hunger reduction from diet products. The new rules will make it easier for consumers to know what they are getting when buying diet aids. The regulations become compulsory on 31 March 1999. However, Food Safety Minister Jeff Rooker urged manufacturers to start following the new rules as soon as possible.
Mr Rooker said:
"Slimming has become a way of life for many people today. Of course, it is important to keep healthy and fit. But consumers need to be protected from foods that falsely claim to reduce hunger and make people lose weight. Many responsible manufacturers of slimming products already meet these rules. Those that do not will now need to sharpen up their act."
Labels will have to list nutrition information including content of calories, proteins, carbohydrates and fats, and vitamins and minerals. Preparation instructions, warning of a possible laxative effect and advice on keeping adequate body fluid levels will also have to appear on total diet replacement and meal replacement product labels. Labels on diet products that act as meal replacements will state that other foods should be consumed as well.