(Brussels, 20 May 2020) Today, the European Commission published its Regulatory ‘fitness check’ (REFIT) report which covers certain aspects of the Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation, for example nutrient profiles and ‘botanical’ claims.
Comment from FoodDrinkEurope Deputy Director General Dirk Jacobs:
The report published today only looks into two aspects of Regulation (EC) 1924/2006, namely nutrient profiles and botanical claims, whereas EU food (ingredient) producers have experienced other challenges with this Regulation, that put them at a competitive disadvantage with regards to global competition.
As required by Article 26 of the Regulation, we reiterate the need to evaluate the Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation more broadly against its original objectives, including the objective of protecting and promoting research and innovation in the EU, which arguably has not been met.
Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods, governs the use of these claims in the labelling, presentation and advertising of foods. It aims at enabling consumers to make healthier choices by protecting them from misleading information and ensuring a level playing field for food businesses to operate within the single market.
Since its adoption in 2006, the implementation of the Regulation remains incomplete since nutrient profiles, that had to be set by January 2009, have not yet been established and due to the fact that health claims on plants and their preparations used in foods are not yet fully regulated. In 2015, the Commission decided to perform a Regulatory 'Fitness Check' (REFIT) on the latter two aspects (i.e. nutrient profiles and 'botanical' claims).
Article 26 of Regulation (EC) 1924/2006 obliged the Commission to submit to the European Parliament and to the Council, by 19 January 2013 at the latest, a report on the application of the Regulation, in particular on the evolution of the market in foods in respect of which nutrition or health claims are made and on consumer understanding of claims, together with a proposal for amendments if necessary. An evaluation of the entire Regulation has yet to be conducted.