European Health Claims Law -- Progress Slow But Relentless

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An article by Peter Berry Ottaway in Vol. 10, No. 1 (January 2005) of Nutraceuticals International noted EU and U.S. controversy over defining nutritional foods and mentioned an argument made by ACSH's Jeff Stier:

There has been a recent controversy in the USA over the launch of a calcium-enriched soda by Seven-Up. At first sight, this product appears to be contravening the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's "Jelly Bean Rule" that manufacturers should not make health claims for foods low in nutrients.

However, the product appears to have been defended by a senior member of the American Council on Science and Health on the basis that it may help teenagers with inadequate calcium intakes to consume a higher amount of calcium without altering existing dietary habits. It is almost certain that European regulators could be faced with similar arguments. For many decades, butter substitutes have been fortified with vitamins A and D, and more recently the flagship of the functional food sector has been butter substitutes with added phytosterols. It will be interesting to see how such a product fits into a nutritional profile.