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As a matter of interest: approximately 44 000 health claims from various EU member states got together within the approval process. In total, 4185 claims were reviewed. Currently, in compliance with the Regulation (EC) No. 1924/2006, the health claims are banned when labelling food, with the exception of the claims that are approved and stated in the list of approved claims. These claims are scientifically justified; it means that the mechanism of the active ingredient's effect, its positive or physiological effect and its quantity needed for the requested effect are known. Mostly they are vitamins or minerals.    

To be more specific, let's mention what claims are not acceptable and what they may not be like. It is evident that a claim may not be false, misleading or ambiguous. They may not cause doubts on safety or nutritional adequacy of other food, or reference to changes of bodily functions. It is not allowed to reference to the extent or amount of body weight loss. Health claims may not encourage excessive consumption of certain food or excuse excessive consumption. It may not claim that the product prevents from an illness or that cures or may not indicate that if consumers do not consume certain food, it would have negative effect on their health.

Use of health claims applies to any words, data, brands, trademarks or other symbols that are on the packaging or other advertising materials or in promotion campaigns. 

Permitted health claims are described in individual regulations (the Commission Regulation (EU) No. 432/2012 and Commission Regulation (EU) No. 536/2013). These regulations do not apply to plants (herbs); there is a special so called "on hold" list for them. It is a list made for temporary use of health claims that have not been reviewed yet and the European Commission has not given clear decision on them. For example the health claim about dried plums stating that they can help normal function of intestines has been disallowed recently (Commission Regulation (EU) No. 2015/1886). It is necessary to permanently monitor and watch the newly submitted opinions for the producers in order to avoid discrepancies regarding labelling their food.

Source: Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority, EU Official Journal

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