Today is the day the E.U.’s Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation comes into force, and what this means is that all health claims about food and supplement products are now illegal, except those that are on the European Food Safety Authority’s list of authorised claims. Read on and I’ll tell you just how short that list is.
It’s certainly no bad thing that companies will be prevented from making false or inflated health claims about foods and supplements.
I’m pleased, for example, to see the claim that cacao “improves emotional wellbeing, supports positive mood and increases relaxation” in the unauthorised category, along with a number of similarly false or misleading claims.
But this new regulation goes too far – way too far.
According to campaign group Alliance for Natural Health International, of 44,000 health claims submitted to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for consideration, just 222 have been approved.
When I spoke to Dr Robert Verkerk, founder and director of Alliance for Natural Health International, he said that he and his colleagues consider this new regulation “the greatest restriction on free speech related to natural healthcare ever seen.”
And that is because alongside all the misleading health claims that are now effectively illegal are many that are backed by solid scientific evidence.