Prohibited claims

Only authorised claims may be used.

Pursuant to the Regulation on nutrition and health claims, the following health claims shall not be allowed:

  • claims which suggest that health could be affected by not consuming the food; 
  •  claims which make reference to the rate or amount of weight loss; 
  •  claims which make reference to recommendations of individual doctors or health professionals and other national associations of medical, nutrition or dietetic professionals and health-related charities not referred to in Article 11.

  

Medicinal marketing of foodstuffs is prohibited

Under Section 9 of Food Act 23/2006 food must not in food packaging, presentation and advertising, or in some other way in connection with marketing be presented as having properties related to prevention, treatment or curing of human diseases, unless otherwise provided elsewhere in the law.

 

Misleading claims

The Commission's guidance on the implementation of the Regulation on nutrition and health claims states that a claim is misleading if it refers to properties, which do not have any significance for the overall intake of the nutrient in question.

Nutrition and health claims for nutrients, which are contained in the product in such a small amount that they do not have any significance for the overall intake of the nutrient in question are misleading to the consumer and thereby prohibited.

  • For example, the claim "reduced fat" may not be made for bread as bread is low-fat to start with and the reduction of fat has no essential significance for the overall intake of fat.
  • For the same reason, "increased" claims may only be used for products, which meet the conditions for the claim "source of".

The field of implementation of the Regulation on nutrition and health claims is very wide and it applies to all claims made in commercial communication. Accordingly, also so-called general nutrition education provided on packaging and in connection with other forms of commercial communication must be in compliance with the Regulation on nutrition and health claims. The product in question and labelling must also meet the requirements of the Regulation on nutrition and health claims.

The message forwarded as nutrition education must not mislead or deceive the consumer about the nutritional value or other properties of the food.

  • The labelling of rye cookies, for example, may not refer to the high fibre content of rye as general educational information on nutrition, unless the cookies actually contain the amount of fibre required for the "source of fibre" claim.

 

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