Breaking News

EU Nutrition & Health Claims Regulation Takes Effect

December 14, 2012

Only specific claims are allowed on foods and supplements in the EU as of December 14, 2012.

December 14, 2012 marks a milestone in the application of the European Union’s (EU) Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation. From this date forward only claims that are included in a list of approved generic claims, those that received a specific decision or regulation, and claims that have been put on hold, will be allowed on foods and supplements in the EU.

In 2006, the European Responsible Nutrition Alliance (ERNA) contributed to the establishment of this list and welcomed it as a tool that will help companies provide correct and accurate communication about the many health benefits of vitamins and minerals, omega 3 fatty acids and some other ingredients.

Despite the delayed establishment of this list, the application of the Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation remains complex and interpretations on a number of its provisions are seen to differ between Member States. ERNA has therefore developed a guidance document on how to apply the Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation in a number of situations.

“One of the aims of this legislation is to create a uniform set of rules for the whole of the EU,” said ERNA Chair Catherine Mignot. “Companies, however, are confronted with aspects that have not been clarified or that remain subject to differences of opinion among the Member States. The ERNA guidance intends to provide clarity on a number of aspects to help companies apply the requirements in a correct and responsible way.“

The guidance covers elements such as which claims fall within the scope of the legislation, flexibility of wording, communication to professionals and how to apply the general conditions of use for approved claims.

“This guidance contains information that will help companies, in particular small and medium-sized companies, to apply those elements of the legislation that are particularly difficult,” explained ERNA Secretary-general Patrick Coppens. “The information is compiled from existing EU and national guidance, legal opinions and outcomes of discussions with and between Member States. We hope that it will help to create a uniform basis for enforcement and avoid the need for companies to adapt communication on a country-to-country basis.”

The guidance document will be downloadable from the ERNA website at
  • Energy Trends: The Market Charges On

    Energy Trends: The Market Charges On

    Sean Moloughney, Editor||January 3, 2017
    Brands appeal to a broad audience with natural ingredients that provide sustained benefits.

  • Nutritional Minerals: Tried & True

    Nutritional Minerals: Tried & True

    Lisa Olivo, Associate Editor||January 3, 2017
    Among the most elementary ingredients in the nutraceuticals space, minerals continue to benefit public health.

  • Healthy Snack Trends to Chew On

    Healthy Snack Trends to Chew On

    Amanda Baltazar, Contributing Writer||January 3, 2017
    Consumers are seeking more positive attributes and fewer ingredients from their snacks and nutrition bars.