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The European Commission's regulation on nutrition and health claims EC No 19242006 the Regulation came into force in 2007. Article 13 deals with health claims, that is, statements that link a food, drink, ingredient or nutrient with a beneficial diet. Article 14 deals with claims relating to reduction in disease and children's development and health claims. The European Food Safety Authority EFSA is responsible for verifying the scientific substantiation of the submitted claims, some of which are currently in use, some of which are proposed by applicants. This information serves as a basis for the European Commission and Member States, which will decide whether to authorise the claims. EFSA provides scientific advice on health and nutrition claims. It has set out a procedure for applicants to follow and technical and scientific guidance for preparation and presentation of the claims for the approvals process.

The food lobby has traditionally resisted measures aimed at promoting consumer health and well being which might be considered to be harmful to its economic interests. It has argued that consumers do not want a paternalistic approach from the state which tells them what they can and cannot consume. Recent campaigns relating to salt, sugar and fat intake have been characterised by the food lobby's preference for industry led self regulatory measures and not legislation. The impact of the regulation will depend to a large degree on the enforcement of the law by the relevant agencies. In the UK, Trading Standards departments in local authorities will be faced with the prospect of taking action against large multinational organisations with access to teams of experts and lawyers with all of the risk and costs entailed. This paper will explore prospects for approval and enforcement of health and nutrition claims in the UK by a review of the historical treatment of such claims by enforcers.
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Keywords: Food law; enforcement; health claims; marketing

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-01-01

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  • The International Journal of Management Cases (IJMC) developed in 2002 from its predecessor The Journal of Management Cases, and present case studies across a broad range of management disciplines. The IJMC is the official journal of the CIRCLE Research Centre. CIRCLE (Centre for International Research Consumers, Locations and their Environments) is a virtual research group spreading over 70 universities.
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