Nutrition claims

Nutrition labels

A label on food products indicating whether the product is healthy or less healthy. Sweden and Great Britain have introduced traffic light labelling where red means eat as little as possible and green as much as possible.

A regulation on this subject became applicable on 19 January 2007. It sets out general principles for all positive descriptions and particular stipulations as regards food and health claims.

Claims must be scientifically based and they are subject to supervision from the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health.

Article 21 stipulates that, “Member states may not restrict or forbid trade in or advertising of foods which comply with this Regulation”.

This means that no country can forbid marketing of or claims in relation to enriched foods. For example, all member states now have to allow "healthy" sweetened soft drinks with added vitamins.

A large number of typical nutrition claims are now covered by rules set out in an annex to the regulation.

For example describing a product as "light" or "fat free". The EU has adopted specific rules on this subject, see Energy labels.