Dec. 14, 2012 marked a milestone in the application of the European Union’s Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation. Going 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. 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.