Health claims on food labels
Disease risk reduction claims
Statements that link a food to a reduced risk of developing a diet-related disease or condition in the context of the total diet. For example, "[Naming the food or food constituent] may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease".
Includes any substance or mixture of substances manufactured, sold or represented for the use in:
- the diagnosis, treatment, mitigation or prevention of a disease, disorder or abnormal physical state, or its symptoms, in human beings or animals, or
- restoring, correcting or modifying organic functions in human beings or animals, or
- disinfection in premises in which food is manufactured, prepared or kept [2, FDA].
Claims that suggest that the product has the properties of a drug (e.g. the treatment, mitigation or prevention of a disease, disorder or abnormal physical state or its symptoms) or that the product has an effect on the body that is beyond that which is normally associated with a food (e.g. restoring, correcting or modifying organic functions in the body).
Includes any article manufactured, sold or represented for use as food or drink for human beings, chewing gum, and any ingredient that may be mixed with food for any purpose whatever [2, FDA].
Claims that refer to the specific beneficial effects that the consumption of a food or food constituent has on normal functions or biological activities of the body. Such claims relate to a positive contribution to health or performance. For example, "[Naming the food or food constituent] promotes regularity or laxation".
General health claims
Broad claims that promote health through healthy eating or that provide dietary guidance. These claims do not refer to a specific or general health effect, disease, or health condition.
Any representation in labelling or advertising that states, suggests, or implies that a relationship exists between the consumption of a food and health.
The normal softness and bulking of the stool resulting from such factors as increased undigested residue or bacterial mass, trapping of gases or water retention.
Natural health product (NHP)
A substance set out in Schedule 1 [NHPR] or a combination of substances in which all the medicinal ingredients are substances set out in Schedule 1, a homeopathic medicine or a traditional medicine, that is manufactured, sold or represented for use in:
- the diagnosis, treatment, mitigation or prevention of a disease, disorder or abnormal physical state or its symptoms in humans;
- restoring or correcting organic functions in humans; or
- modifying organic functions in humans, such as modifying those functions in a manner that maintains or promotes health.
However, a natural health product does not include a substance set out in Schedule 2 [NHPR], any of substances that includes a substance set out in Schedule 2 or a homeopathic medicine or traditional medicine that is or includes a substance set out in Schedule 2 [1, NHPR].
Nutrient function claims
Claims that relate to statements or other claims to the effect that a food's energy (Caloric) value or a nutrient contained in the food is generally recognized as an aid in maintaining the functions of the body necessary to the maintenance of good health and normal growth and development. For example, "Energy [or naming the nutrient] is a factor in the maintenance of good health".
Non-viable food component that confers a health benefit on the host associated with modulation of the microbiota.
"Live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host" (FAO/WHO, 2001; see Reference List for Probiotic Claims).
Claims that refer to the treatment or mitigation of a disease or health-related condition, or about restoring, correcting or modifying body functions. For example, "[Naming the food or food constituent] lowers blood cholesterol".
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