Review of the possible impact on food marketing and consumer protection
Nutrition and health claims are voluntary claims on food indicating favourable nutritional content or health benefits of the food. Nutrition and health claims on food are increasingly regulated in the world market. This process is accompanied by intensive stakeholder discussions on the possible impact on consumer protection and food marketing effectiveness. This article reviews literature on regulations in the major food markets in comparison with the EU regulation. The focus is on identifying characteristics of regulations that are expected to have an impact on consumer protection and food marketing. The EU regulation is regarded as focusing relatively strongly on precaution and consumer understanding. The extent to which this hampers food innovations is in dispute. It is suggested that using marketing measures in favour of scientifically approved claims as well as stakeholder cooperation could help resolve this trade-off. Not only the EU regulation but also other frameworks have been criticized for vagueness and lack of transparency. Despite country-specific differences in regulation and enforcement, there is a high degree of similarity of the regulations for the fully approved claims. There are attempts to further harmonize the frameworks.
Cab Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources, 2011, Vol 6, Issue 33, p. 1-7