The EC has said all 2700+ approved and rejected claims will enter the EU law books in the first quarter of 2012. Six months later, all rejected claims will be barred in the European Union.
In the current draft regulation, positive claim opinions that fat consumption can benefit fat soluble vitamin absorption; and that sodium can benefit muscle function, will be outlawed on the grounds of their overall negative contribution to nutrition and health.
Conflicting and confusing message
Article 12 of the draft regulation states: “Authorisation may also legitimately be withheld ifhealth claims do not comply with other general and specific requirements ofRegulation (EC) No 1924/2006 [the nutrition and health claims regulation], even in the case of a favourable scientific assessment.”
It said the fat-vitamins and sodium-muscle claims, “would convey a conflicting and confusing message to consumers, because it would encourage consumption of those nutrients for which, on the basis of generally accepted scientific advice, European, national and international authorities inform the consumer that their intake should be reduced.”
“Furthermore, even if the health claims concerned were to be authorised only under specific conditions of use and/or accompanied by additional statements or warnings, these would not be sufficient to alleviate the confusion of the consumer, and consequently the claims should not be authorised.”
Article 16 of the draft observes: “Comments and positions from the members of the public and interested stakeholders, received by the Commission have been adequately considered when setting the measures provided for in this Regulation.”