Following European Commission and member state discussions at a January 23 2012 meeting, the DoH said it was likely ‘contains X ingredient’ claims would be deemed health claims although, “it was not clear what evidence would be needed to justify such claims or who should assess it.”
“We considered whether the statement ‘Glucosamine is a structural component of joint cartilage and is, in part, responsible for its resistance to compression’ on a food supplement could be construed as a health claim,” said a spokesperson for the DoH’s Food Supplements, Fortification & Claims Team, Nutrition Science & Delivery, Health & Wellbeing Division.
“Most” member states considered it to be an implied health claim. “however, it was noted that context and presentation would need to be taken into account.”
“Contains bifidus”, “contains Coenzyme 10” and “contains lycopene” claims were also mentioned.
The meeting also went over other aspects of the regulation including whether or not health care professional communications could be classed as health claims under the EU nutrition and health claims regulation (NHCR).
“Member states take a wide interpretation beyond medicine and nursing to encompass nutritionists and dietitians,” the DoH observed.
“Some member states also include anyone with a professional business who represents themselves as having expertise in nutrition and health, or speaks for such experts including personal trainers.”
It was noted that, “any form of communication designed to promote, directly or indirectly, the goods, services or image of an undertaking, organization or person engaged in commercial, industrial or craft activity or practicing a regulated profession”.
“Several member states therefore regard communications to HCPs about the health benefits of foods as within scope; others think it should be considered on a case-by-case basis.”