Report on the health claims used on the Finnish food market


<div>In 2006, the Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira collected information on health claims used in Finland and the conditions for their use, using an open questionnaire posted on the Internet. A total of 625 responses were received by the deadline, pertaining to 269 substances, foods or combinations of substances. The greatest number of claims were related to cardiovascular health, carbohydrate metabolism and weight control, and gut health and immunity.</div>

The purpose of the report is to give an accurate representation of the claims reported by the respondents, including which products these claims pertain to and what the respondents have given as scientific evidence and other conditions for the use of the claims. All the descriptions are based on information received from the survey respondents. Evira has not evaluated the legality of the products, the scientific evidence underlying the various claims or the acceptability of the claims. The claims will be evaluated later.

The study was conducted with the support of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and a monitoring group with representatives from various areas of the food sector was also involved in the planning and implementation of the project.

The motivation for collecting this information was the new Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on nutrition and health claims made on foods (1924/2006), which requires the scientific evidence and permissibility of all health claims to be evaluated at the EU level. According to the Regulation, Member States must submit to the Commission by January 31, 2008 a list of health claims based on generally accepted scientific data and well understood by the average consumer. The information now collected will later be used in the drafting of the national list of claims required in the above Regulation, to be supervised by the Ministry of Trade and Industry. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) will evaluate the scientific justifications submitted. The Commission will publish a list of permitted claims and the conditions for their use no later than January 31, 2010. After this list has been published, no nutritional and health claims may be made other than those on the list.

Report on the health claims used on the Finnish food market (Vaihia K., Sarlio-Lähteenkorva, only in Finnish), a copy of the Regulation on nutrition and health claims made on foods, and further information on health claims can be found in Finnish on the Evira website:

Further information
Sirpa Sarlio-Lähteenkorva, Evira, tel. +358 20 77 24283, +358 50 386 8430
Anne Haikonen, Ministry of Trade and Industry, tel. +358 9 1606 3654, +358 50 369 7618
Kaisa Vaihia, Ministry of Trade and Industry, tel. +358 9 1606 3536, +358 50 502 0414

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