Codex Committee on Food Labelling22 April 2012
Guidelines for the Use of Nutrition and Health Claims
In 2004 Codex adopted Guidelines for the Use of Nutrition and Health Claims. This was the subject of several years of often heated discussion among governments, with widely varying viewpoints on how much information should be available to consumers on food products.
These Guidelines include national provisions which state that health claims must be consistent with national health policy. This would mean that national authorities can decide a claim is not permitted, even though it conforms to Codex principles. These national provisions could lead to wide-ranging restrictions on trade and, ironically, result in increasing rather than reducing trade barriers in food trade.
In addition, these Guidelines contain an Annex with Recommendations on the Scientific Substantiation of Health Claims, which are intended to assist competent national authorities in their evaluation of health claims in order to determine their acceptability for use by the industry. The recommendations focus on the criteria for substantiating a health claim and the general principles for the systematic review of the scientific evidence. The criteria and principles apply to the three types of health claims as defined in Section 2.2 of the Guidelines for use of nutrition and health claims.
CCFL will have its 40th Session this 15-18 May in Ottawa, Canada. The committee has on its agenda two issues that are of interest to the food supplement industry, namely, the draft amendments to the Codex Guidelines for Use of Nutrition and Health Claims, particularly the proposal to add conditions for nutrient content claims and comparative claims; and draft amendments to the Codex Guidelines on Nutrition Labelling, particularly the proposal to include requirements for mandatory nutrition labeling in the Guidelines for foods other than those for which a nutrition claim is made.
Click here to see the Guidelines on Nutrition Labelling
Click here to see the Agenda of the CCFL Meeting 2012