Which? welcomes claims regs “based on fact, not fiction”

The consumer group Which? has welcomed last Monday’s (December 5) vote by the EC Standing Committee on Animal Health and the Food Chain to adopt a list of approved health claims as part of the Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation.

Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said: “It has been a long time coming, but consumers will soon be able to choose what products to buy based on fact, not fiction.”

He added: ‘Manufacturers now need hard evidence, not just clever marketing, to promote the health benefits of food and drinks.’

The list of approved claims will now go to the European Parliament for a three month period of scrutiny. If there is no challenge, it will then be published in the Official Journal. Once the list comes into effect, companies will then have six months to comply.

Claims that could not be substantiated include statements such as green tea helps to maintain normal blood pressure and glucosamine is beneficial for maintenance of joints.

Approved claims include the fact that calcium is needed for the maintenance of normal bones and that reduced consumption of saturated fat contributes to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels.