Legal arguments build against EU health claims regulation

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: World trade organization, International trade, European union, Eu

Vergano will outline three NHCR legal issues in Brussels next week
Vergano will outline three NHCR legal issues in Brussels next week
Restricting freedom of commercial speech; restricting trade between the EU and other countries and restricting the use of intellectual property (IP) such as trade marks, are three consequences of the EU nutrition and health claims regulation (NHCR) that could lead to a legal challenge, according to an EU trade lawyer.

Brussels-based Paolo Vergano, a partner at Fratini Vergano, has been exploring all three areas, and said non-EU governments had contacted his firm on behalf of commercial partners that are being negatively affected by the regulation because they may no longer export products into the EU bearing claims that may be authorised in their own jurisdictions.

“If that is the consequence of a negative decision then it may be considered as an import restriction into the EU de facto if not de jure,” he said. “In such a case, the dispute may be brought before the World Trade Organization and WTO procedures may assist countries in resolving the controversy. Companies must be aware of this legal avenue and work with their Governments to explore such approach.”

Vergano will present his ideas at a health claims conference​ in Brussels next week, where he will also show why the NHCR breaches commercial speech laws regarding non-misleading marketing, drawing heavily on recent US case law that forced the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to alter its qualified health claims system last year.

The use of IP, and in particular trademarks will also be discussed, and how trademark law and the NHCR interact, especially in regard to certain trademarks such as SlimFast or Activia that may themselves be deemed health claims.

For more information about the conference click here​.

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1 comment

EU HEALTH CLAIMS REGULATIONS

Posted by MURIEL TOFFOLI,

EFSA AND THEIR CRONIES AND FUNDERS (BIG PHARMA) SHOULD BE ASHAMED. THEY ARE PUTTING THEIR CHILDEN/GRANDCHILDREN'S HEALTH IN TOTAL JEOPARDY BY DEPRIVING THEM OF EFFECTIVE NATURAL OR HERBAL DRUGS AND SUPPLEMENTS, IN FAVOUR OF PHARMACEUTICAL DRUGS. A POX/CANCER/HEART PROBLEMS/ASTHMA/ECZEMA ETC ON ALL THESE ROTTEN BUREAUCRATS

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