“Many professionals are still unaware of the regulations applicable to therapeutic, nutritional or health claims”. This is the finding of the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF) in its latest survey of 2020 on food supplement marketplaces. Out of 75 operators checked and 130 visits, 60% are not in compliance with the regulations, in particular on the claims that must appear on a positive list (EC regulation no. 1924/2006).
The DGCCRF noticed that 33 companies were using unauthorized health claims such as “Pineapple is a natural slimming active ingredient” or “Dolomite promotes the fixation of calcium”. And that 38 operators used therapeutic claims (prohibited in France) such as “Kudzu helps fight addictions”, “Propolis is a natural antibiotic” or “Cucumber oil treats psychiatric illnesses”.
30 internet marketplaces do not specify the mandatory information, such as that on the importance of a varied and balanced diet required by regulation no. 1924/2006 when using a health claim. As part of Regulation No. 1169/2011 (Inco), they forget the legal name, the list of ingredients or the net weight. Others do not mention the recommended daily dose, required by the regulations applicable to food supplements.
Sanctions record: 13 warnings, 30 injunctions and two reports. One for misleading commercial practice (presence of prohibited therapeutic and health claims and the use of the term “organic” without certification) and another for recidivism on the part of an operator who used prohibited therapeutic and health claims.
Nutritional claim: mention of a certain quantity of calories, nutrients or other substances having a nutritional effect. For example: “low in fat” or “rich in vitamin C”.
Health claim: mention of the existence of a relationship between a food and health. For example: “Vitamin D is necessary for normal growth and bone development in children”.
Therapeutic claim: message that attributes to a food properties of prevention, treatment or cure of a human disease. For example: “reduces arthritis pain”. Its use is contrary to article 7.3 of regulation (EU) n°1169/2011.