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European Food Industry Is Staggered By EFSA’s Health Claim Rulings

July 7, 2010: 04:51 AM EST
Rules adopted in 2006 by the European Food Safety Authority to protect consumers from scientifically unproven health claims have left the food industry in turmoil. About 80 percent of 900 claims examined – 4,637 were submitted – have been rejected by the EFSA as “unsubstantiated, exaggerated or untruthful." The EFSA rejected, for example, claims that green tea is an antioxidant, and is good for blood pressure, cholesterol levels, bones, teeth and eyesight, and claims that cranberry juice can reduce the risk of urinary tract infection in women. Product names might have to be changed as well: “Slim Fast” might be considered an unsubstantiated health claim. The rulings have angered manufacturers in the U.K., who predict that the rules could push shoppers to buy products from “less reputable “sources.
Neil Bowdler, "EU health food claims law begins to bite", BBC News, July 07, 2010, © BBC
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