What is the Health Claims Regulation?

Health Claims Article by Beyond Nutrition

Food and dietary supplements are often advertised with various statements. The products in question should strengthen the immune system, inhibit inflammation or have a preventive effect against various diseases. The Health Claims Regulation provides companies with clear guidelines on how food can be advertised.

The Health Claims Regulation

The Health Claims Regulation (HCVO) came into force on July 1, 2007 in all member states of the European Union. As a food and nutritional supplement distributor, we are also subject to this regulation, among other things.

The purpose of the Health Claims Regulation is in particular to regulate advertising with health and nutritional claims. In principle, according to the regulation, statements are only permissible if the information has been scientifically recognized by the European Union. To verify these statements and scientific studies is the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) responsible.

Examples of permitted information are:

  • Vitamin D contributes to the maintenance of normal muscle function.
  • Calcium contributes to normal muscle function.
  • Folic acid contributes to normal blood formation.

This information is clearly listed on the Beyond Nutrition products and is intended to help the customer make the best choice when purchasing.

Food may only be advertised with health or nutritional claims that have been specifically approved. The term "health claim" is defined as any claim that states, suggests or even implies that the consumption of a food category, a food or a food ingredient reduces a risk factor for the development of a human disease.

The health claim must also relate to the ingredient for which it is authorized and not to the food as a whole, and must not be false or misleading and must be understood by the observant, average consumer.

What are the advantages?

The regulation provides a clear framework within which products may be advertised. Above all, this is intended to protect customers from false promises and illegal activities among food manufacturers and marketing companies.

What are the disadvantages?

This regulation certainly gives the consumer a certain degree of security and severely restricts abuse. New scientific studies and evidence regarding the health-promoting properties of plant substances in particular have not yet been recognized.

Well-known examples are curcumin and other secondary plant substances for which hundreds of studies today clearly demonstrate the positive properties.

More information about the Health Claims Ordinance can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/food/safety/labelling_nutrition/claims/register/public/?event=register.home