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D-day for health claims 14 December 2012

As off now foodstuffs and vitamins have to count their steps. From 14 December 2012 onwards health claims are only permitted for those ingredients that belong to the happy few on the list with approved article 13-healthclaims of the European Commitee. These descriptions are often so very complicated that it drives a marketer nuts. What to do with these vague sentences as ”biotine adds to a psychological function”? Fortunately the foodstuff and health branch in the Netherlands has come up with a list of phrasing which is much more suitable to work with. This list has been tuned with the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) who monitors compliance with the Regulation. Other ways of phrasing are allowed as long as they have the same meaning… Furthermore a guidance document has been put out there that sheds some more light on the matter. The KOAG/KAG can, upon request, give non-committal pre-copy advice and copy-clearance for texts on packaging or other forms of advertising. In case of any doubt the NVWA will contact KOAG/KAG instead of the advertiser. In the meantime the foodstuff branch is in consultation with the NVWA on the precise form of self-regulation when it comes to health claims. But to the consumer, advertiser and advertising agency: we will all have to find our way without the “good old and trusted” health claims.
Ebba Hoogenraad – lawyer foodlaw

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