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European Commission - Daily News, 8 October 2015
The Commission has published a Roadmap on the evaluation of the EU Nutrition and Health Claims legislation. This Roadmap is a first step in the evaluation process and outlines the purpose, content and scope of the evaluation. Stakeholders will have four weeks to submit their comments on a dedicated webpage.
This evaluation will look mainly into whether the rules currently in place on health claims are fit for purpose to deal with health claims on botanicals. It will also assess nutrient profiles, for which rules have not yet been put in place, are still warranted to achieve the objectives of the Regulation. The results of the evaluation will be used as a basis to decide whether there is a need to review the current rules. Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods governs the use of these claims in the labelling, presentation and advertising of foods. It aims at enabling consumers to make healthier choices by protecting them from misleading information and ensuring a level playing field for food businesses to operate within the single market.
The Commission's plan to carry out an evaluation of the Regulation on nutrition and health claims was announced in its Better Regulation Communication of 19 May 2015. For more information on nutrition and health claims see here.
The following is taken from the start of the attached ‘Roadmap’:
Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods (“the Regulation”) was adopted in 2006 to govern the use of these claims in the labelling, presentation and advertising of foods. It aimed in particular at enabling consumers to make healthier choices by protecting them from misleading information and ensuring a level playing field for food business operators within the internal market. Nutrition claims are statements like 'low fat', 'high fibre', while health claims make the link between a food constituent and health, like 'Vitamin D is needed for the normal growth and development of bone in children'.
The purpose of this evaluation is to assess whether two specific elements required for the implementation of the Regulation have proven to be “fit for purpose” and whether the Regulation, to date, with respect to these elements, has achieved, at minimum burden, its overall objectives on truthful information to consumers and the facilitation of the free movement of foods bearing claims.
The evaluation will examine whether nutrient profiles provided for in the Regulation, which have not yet been adopted, are warranted and adequate to ensure the objectives of the Regulation. These nutrient profiles are thresholds of nutrients such as fat, salt and sugars above which nutrition and health claims are restricted, thus preventing a positive health message on food high in these nutrients.
This evaluation will also examine whether the current rules concerning health claims on plants and their preparations used in foods are adequate, and how the use of such claims interacts with the current applicable food regulatory framework on plants and their preparations.
The results of this evaluation will be used to decide on the next steps regarding this policy area
The Commission's Roadmap document is available on this site. See: EVALUATION AND FITNESS CHECK (FC) ROADMAP: Evaluation of a) Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 and of b) the general regulatory framework