The manual (in Dutch), looks to guide businesses on how to handle these labels, which are not mandatory and are expected to appear on brochures, websites and social media.
“Voluntary food information should never be misleading, confusing or ambiguous,” says the NVWA.
“The Handbook pays attention to, among other things, nutritional and health claims, and explains the Claims Regulation, the European Claims Register and the Claims database of the Inspection Board.”
Along with an overview of the relevant EU and Dutch regulations, the manual also includes documents for nutrition and health claims as well as how the NVWA will enforce the guidelines outlined.
This can include inspections of labels, websites and advertisements of certain categories and foodstuffs.
Reports and complaints
The NVWA can also investigate reports and complaints coming from consumers, businesses and civil society organizations about labels, advertising and the presentation of foodstuffs.
The manual also contains a number of step-by-step plans to determine whether a nutritional or health claim is permitted.
Here, users can follow the plans to determine whether a nutrition claim, an article 13 health claim, an article 14 health claim or an “on hold” health claim is permitted.
Other guidelines detailed include general rules for nutrition and health claims as well as specific rules for nutrition and health claims.
The Nutrition and Health Claims Handbook, published on 19 March, also details the role of the Health Advertising Inspection Board for Knowledge and Advice, as well as a related topics, such as the prohibition of medical claims, claims for infant nutrition and sports nutrition.