Expert opinion on health claims

As part of proposed harmonisation of European food law the European Commission released directive (2003) 424. This related to proposed regulation of Nutrition and Health Claims Made on Foods. Alimentarius were approached by the sports nutrition company Maximuscle to review the directive and provide feedback. As a founder member of the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance (ESSNA) Maximuscle requested that the report specifically addressed the potential impact for its own business, the sports supplement industry in general and consumers. Alimentarius identified two areas of particular concern for ESSNA members, which fell under Article 11 (Prohibited Health Claims) and Article 12 (Generally accepted claims). The feedback from Alimentarius was used to help overturn the Article 11 proposal to prohibit products from carrying claims relating to weight and fat loss. Our feedback relating to article 12 helped to ensure flexibility in health claim wording on pack and in advertising. This meant manufacturers of sports supplements could communicate the benefits of their products effectively, while consumers could easily identify products with the benefits and characteristics they were looking for.

Holland & Barrett – fat loss supplements

A major US based supplement manufacturer wanted to sell its premium fat loss product in Holland and Barrett stores. With more than 600 shops this is the UK biggest specialist health food retailer, who also own GNC stores. Many fat loss supplements are often marketed using false or misleading advertising claims. To help protect consumers Holland & Barrett assess the scientific evidence to support each products marketing claims and efficacy. Alimentarius prepared the health claim substantiation dossier to support the claims used on our clients product. This carried specific weight management claims related to weight loss, fat loss and fat burning. After review by Holland & Barrett our clients product successfully obtained a retail listing in their stores.