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Food (supplements) and health claims

EU

Recently, based on a German case, the Court of Justice of the European Union decided to restrict the EU Health Claims Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods). In this case, food supplements were promoted towards health care professionals exclusively using nutrition and health claims. This resulted in the question whether or not nutrition and health claims, made in commercial communications towards health care professionals solely, fall within the scope of the EU Health Claims Regulation. The Court decided that whereas in some EU Member States only health-related advertising towards the general public had been restricted under the previous regulations, under the EU Health Claims Regulation the same restrictions apply for advertising both inside and outside of the professional sector.

Health care professionals are considered to act as information intermediaries who issue recommendations concerning certain food supplements to consumers. Any information provided to health care professionals may affect consumers as well. Consequently, with these restrictions, a higher level of consumer protection can be guaranteed but at the other hand, promotion of food supplements towards health care professionals becomes much more restricted !

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