Health claims in the labelling and marketing of food products:

the Swedish food sector’s Code of Practice in a European perspective

  • Nils-Georg Asp
  • Susanne Bryngelsson
Keywords: disease risk reduction, functional foods, nutrient functions, nutrients, other substances, scientific substantiation

Abstract

Since 1990 certain health claims in the labelling and marketing of food products have been allowed in Sweden
within the food sector’s Code of Practice. The rules were developed in close dialogue with the authorities. The
legal basis was a decision by the authorities not to apply the medicinal products’ legislation to ‘‘foods
normally found on the dinner table’’ provided the rules defined in the Code were followed. The Code of
Practice lists nine well-established diethealth relationships eligible for generic disease risk reduction claims in
two steps and general rules regarding nutrient function claims. Since 2001, there has also been the possibility
for using ‘‘product-specific physiological claims (PFP)’’, subject to premarketing evaluation of the scientific
dossier supporting the claim. The scientific documentation has been approved for 10 products with PFP, and
another 15 products have been found to fulfil the Code’s criteria for ‘‘low glycaemic index’’. In the third
edition of the Code, active since 2004, conditions in terms of nutritional composition were set, i.e. ‘‘nutrient
profiles’’, with a general reference to the Swedish National Food Administration’s regulation on the use of a
particular symbol, i.e. the keyhole symbol. Applying the Swedish Code of practice has provided experience
useful in the implementation of the European Regulation on nutrition and health claims made on foods,
effective from 2007.

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Published
2007-10-01
How to Cite
Asp, N.-G., & Bryngelsson, S. (2007). Health claims in the labelling and marketing of food products:: the Swedish food sector’s Code of Practice in a European perspective. Food & Nutrition Research, 107-126. Retrieved from https://foodandnutritionresearch.net/index.php/fnr/article/view/1105
Section
European Regulation on Health Claims