Food health claims nearing Code of Practice
its goal to establish a Code of Practice for health claims on food.
The UK Joint Health Claims Initiative (JHCI) is drawing closer to its goal to establish a Code of Practice for health claims on food. The organisation is due to publish, later this week, the first round of prioritised claims. Melanie Ruffell, spokesperson for the JHCI, told NutraIngredients.com,"It has been a very, very busy time but we are near to announcing the first group of seven or eight proposed generic claims and they should be online on our website by the end of the week." In the absence of an EU directive to regulate health claims, the food industry, consumer groups and enforcement authorities in the UK recently grouped together to form the independent JHCI in order to establish a Code of Practice for health claims on food. When asked whether financial contributions from the food industry might be seen to be contrary to claims by the JHCI of impartiality, Ms. Ruffell responded, "Our Expert Committee is very far removed from the funding and apart from this fact all members' interests are declared. Those with a potential conflict of interest do not attend the relevant meetings." The JHCI is a self-regulating, self-financing body. Despite the absence of government funding Ms. Ruffell claimed, "The UK government's Food Standards Agency (FSA) is very supportive of us. We have close links with the FSA and it is present at all meetings." The JHCI hopes to present the draft Code of Practise within the next few months.