Foodwise (news articles)
04 March 2016
On January 18 2016, nutrition content claims and health claims on all food labels, in advertisements and in endorsements became law.
The new food standard (Standard 1.2.7), first introduced on 18 January 2013, allowed businesses up to 3 years to make the change during which health claims needed to comply with either Standard 1.2.7 or the transitional Standard 1.1A.2 which contained the existing requirements.
As of 18 January 2016, the transitional Standard ceased to have effect and all health claims are now regulated under Standard 1.2.7.
Nutrition content claims are claims about the content of certain nutrients or substances in a food, such as ‘low in fat’ or ‘good source of calcium’. These claims will need to meet certain criteria set out in the Standard.
Health claims refer to a relationship between a food and health rather than a statement of content. There are two types of health claims:
- General level: these are nutrients or substances found in a food and its effect on a health function. General health claims are prohibited from referring to a serious disease or biomarker of a serious disease such as ‘Fibre helps keep you regular’.
- High level: this refers to a nutrient or substance in a food and its relationship to a serious disease or to a biomarker of a serious disease, for example: ‘Diets high in calcium may reduce the risk of osteoporosis in people 65 years of age and over’.
All health claims, such as ‘This food is low in sodium (salt). A diet low in sodium may help reduce blood pressure’ are required to be supported by scientific evidence, whether they meet the pre-approved claims by FSANZ or can be self-substantiated by the food business.
Health claims may only be permitted on foods that meet the nutrient profiling scoring criterion, meaning claims are restricted to foods which may support overall health.
All food manufacturers should now have assessed and adjusted any health related claims on their products to meet compliance with the new Standard.
More information can be found on our website at www.foodauthority.nsw.gov. au/ip/labelling/health-claims including a link to the FSANZ document Getting your claims right.