Skip to main content

Food: Labelling

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 16 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many proposed claims have been submitted to the Food Standards Agency for consideration for authorisation for use on products under the provisions of Article 13 of the Nutrition and Health Claims Made on Food Regulations; if he will give a breakdown of that total by the major categories of the substance to which those claims refer, including (a) macronutrients, (b) vitamins and minerals, (c) botanical ingredients and (d) other substances. (157228)

The Food Standards Agency is currently processing submissions under the Article 13 process and estimates that between 1,500-2,000 claims have been submitted. The exact number, and breakdown by category and substance will only be known when all the submissions have been assessed, and any duplications taken into account.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make it his policy to ensure that the Food Standards Agency assists manufacturers submitting applications for authorisation of claims under the Nutrition and Health Claims Made on Food Regulations to support those applications through the authorisation process; and what steps the agency intends to take to support small and medium sized businesses involved in this process. (157229)

Health claims must be substantiated by scientific evidence, and be well understood by the average consumer. The substantiating science is to be assessed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Authorisation of the claims will then be by joint decision of the Commission and member states in the appropriate regulatory committee. The Food Standards Agency will support claims that comply with the necessary criteria and will push to ensure that the requirement in the regulation that the Commission and EFSA make available technical guidance and tools to assist small and medium sized businesses in the preparation and presentation of an application is fulfilled.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when officials of the Food Standards Agency last met representatives of (a) manufacturers of specialist herbal food supplements and (b) specialist health food retailers to discuss the submission of claims under the nutrition and health claims made on food regulations. (157230)

The Food Standards Agency last met with representatives of manufacturers of specialist herbal food supplements and specialist health food retailers on 15 August 2007.