Department of Health provides spreadsheet of Article 13(1) “on hold” health claims

The Department of Health (DoH) has accepted that navigating Article 13(1) of the Nutrition & Health Claims Regulation (EC) 1924/2006 “on hold” health claims for botanicals and non-botanicals (eg, caffeine, lactose, very low calorie diet) is a “difficult task”. So they have provided a list to help enforcement officers and businesses alike. A link is provided here to the Article 13(1) "on hold" health claims spreadsheet from the DoH, which will be of some assistance rather than searching separate EU databases.

The only Article 13(1) health claims permitted are those listed as ‘authorised’ in the EU Register of claims; and those put “on hold”. The EU approved only 222 health claims out of more than 4,500 applications. Claims made or implied on a label are limited to the list of authorised health claims. Pictures or graphics used in advertising are limited to those same authorised health claims. Even brand names that contain words suggesting a health claim are limited to the list of authorised health claims.

In terms of products containing herbs – often called “botanicals” – the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA’s) assessment of these health claims is currently “on hold” following widespread complaints. This on hold, legal limbo has continued since 2010, with no deadline for the final assessment in sight. Claims “on hold” may be used while they are still under consideration, subject to the transition measures in Article (28)(5) of the Nutrition & Health Claims Regulation 1924/2006 and complying with Articles 3,5,6,7 and 10 of the regulation (as well as other relevant national legislation). Claims must be scientifically substantiated and an individual using a claim must be able to justify its use.

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