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Health claims – An opportunity for science


Nutrition Institute, Tržaška cesta 40, Ljubljana, 1000, Slovenia
Member of AgroFOOD industry hi-tech’s Scientific Advisory Board

The year 2012 will be remembered by the European food industry for a long time. Following the acceptance of Regulation (EU) No 432/2012 establishing a list of permitted health claims made on foods, other than those referring to the reduction of disease risk and to children’s development and health in May, thousands of unsubstantiated health claims on foods will become illegal on 14 December 2012. The food industry is investing to harmonise all relevant labelling and is measuring the ‘economic damage’ in millions of euros. Yet, at the same time, food products are being reformulated. Unfortunately, in many cases the goal of such reformulation is not to create better functional foods, but simply to enable the use of authorised health claims. Another problem is health claims for botanicals for which scientific evaluations have been put “on hold”. These are in a privileged position compared to other food ingredients with unsubstantiated claims.


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