Opportunities, problems and pitfalls of nutrition and health claims

Opportunities, problems and pitfalls of nutrition and health claims

by Harry J. Bremmers & Bernd van der Meulen

The provision of reliable food information, for instance by printing an authorised nutrition or health claim on a package of food, makes credence dimensions of a food transparent to the consumer. In Europe, prior-to-use authorisation of nutrition and health claims are mandatory and governed by Regulation (EC) 1924/2006. The aim of this paper is to assess the problems and pitfalls of the European claims regime to food businesses. A legal-economic review is performed, supported by case studies. Strategic factors determining whether or not to claim are of a legal-economic kind. Strategic responses include refraining from the use or application of claims, abstaining from innovation, and/or circumvention of the authorisation procedure. Negative social-economic effects make it necessary to improve the present legal structures with respect to their effectiveness while maintaining the balance between public control and individual freedom.

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