Legal Update - Health Claims for Iodine, Vitamin C and Iron

Product Regulation – Nutrition and Health Claims - European Food Safety Authority

 

The European Food Safety Authority (“EFSA”) recently approved a number of new health claims relating to infants and young children, including claims in relation to Iodine, Vitamin C and Iron. Provided the food meets the nutritional requirements, these claims can now be used in the labelling of food for infants and young children.

 

Iodine

 

Claim: “normal cognitive development”

 

One health claim that was proposed related to the contribution of Iodine to normal cognitive development in relation to children aged 3 years and below.

 

The EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (“Panel”) concluded that the “cause and effect relationship has been established between the dietary intake of iodine and contribution to normal cognitive development”.

 

In reaching its decision the Panel noted:

 

  • A previous favourable assessment of a claim regarding iodine and the contribution to normal cognitive neurological function in the general population;
  • The well-established role of iodine in preventing iodine deficiency disorders in children and adolescents.

 

Claim: “thyroid function”

 

The other health claim proposed related to the contribution of Iodine to normal thyroid function in relation to children aged 3 years and below.

 

The Panel concluded that the “cause and effect relationship has been established between the dietary intake of iodine and contribution to normal thyroid function.”

 

In reaching its decision, the Panel noted the well-established role of iodine in the synthesis of thyroid hormones.

 

Vitamin C

 

Claim: “increasing non-haem iron absorption”

 

The health claim proposed related to Vitamin C being an “enhancer of non-haem iron absorption” in relation to children aged 3 years and below.

 

The Panel concluded that the “cause and effect relationship has been established between the dietary intake of vitamin C and increasing non-haem iron absorption.”

 

The Panel’s conclusion was based on the well-established role of Vitamin C in promoting non-haem iron absorption. The Panel had previously given a favourable assessment of a claim on Vitamin C increasing non-haem iron absorption in the general population.

 

Iron

 

Claim: “normal formation of haemoglobin and red blood cells”

 

The health claim proposed related to the role of Iron in “the blood formation process” in relation to children aged 3 years and below.

 

The Panel concluded that the “cause and effect relationship has been established between dietary intake of iron and contribution to normal formation of haemoglobin and red blood cells.”

 

The Panel’s conclusion was based on the well-established role of Iron in preventing iron deficiency anaemia in humans. The Panel had previously given a favourable assessment of a claim on Iron and its contribution to normal formation of haemoglobin and red blood cells in the general population.

 

Conclusion

 

The new approved health claims that can be used in labelling of food for infants and young children are:

 

  • “normal cognitive development” – Iodine
  • “thyroid function” - Iodine
  • “increasing non-haem iron absorption” – Vitamin C
  • “normal formation of haemoglobin and red blood cells” - Iron

 

For any advice on food products, food supplements, labelling and packaging of food or food supplements, label claims, nutrition claims and/or health claims, you may contact us by email enquiries@rtcooperssolicitors.com. Visit http://www.rtcoopers.com/practice_regulatory.php or http://www.rtcoopers.com/practice_food.php.

 

© RT COOPERS, 2014. This Briefing Note does not provide a comprehensive or complete statement of the law relating to the issues discussed nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight general issues. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to particular circumstances.

 

 

 

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