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The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is an agency of the European Union that provides independent scientific advice and communication on existing and emerging risks associated with the food chain, created by European Regulation 178/2002.
The Authority’s work covers all matters with a direct or indirect impact on food and feed safety, including nutrition. For more information about EFSA’s tasks on nutrition and health claims, click here.
The European Commission has adopted a list of 222 EU approved health claims for use on foods, which are permitted for use in commercial communications to consumers. Regulation 432/2012 (establishing the list of approved health claims) was published in the Official Journal on 25 May 2012 and came into effect on 14 June 2012. The list itself will come into effect six months later, on 14 December 2012. The permitted health claims are available to be checked on line on the Community Register.
The move gives legal clarity to food business operators as to claims which can be made, subject to compliance with the stated conditions on the use of each particular claim. In addition it will give consumers confidence in that the claims have been rigorously assessed and approved at a European level and avoids claims that are misleading.
From 14 December 2012 on, products carrying claims, which have been rejected by EFSA would need to be withdrawn from the market (within the European Union).