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B2C COMMUNICATION
IN THE FUNCTIONAL FOOD
& NUTRACEUTICAL
SECTOR
VitaFoods
Geneva, 11 May 2016
Karin Verzijden
www.axonlawy...
Agenda
• Nutrition and Health Claims (Regulation 1924/2006)
• Medical claims (Directive 2001/83)
• Food Information to Con...
Introduction
Axon Lawyers
3
• Amsterdam based law firm with international focus
• Fully dedicated to life sciences, famili...
Legal framework health and
nutrition claims (1)
4
Notion of “claim” is pretty broad:
• any message or representation
• whi...
Legal framework health and
nutrition claims (2)
5
Nutrition claim vs. health claim
• Nutrition claim: claim that states / ...
Legal framework health and
nutrition claims (3)
6
General conditions for use of nutrition and health claims
• Claimed nutr...
Legal framework health and
nutrition claims (4)
7
• Nutrition claims are directed at particular nutritional effects: how m...
Legal framework health and
nutrition claims (5)
8
3 types health claims:
(1) general function claims (222+)
(2) disease ri...
Legal framework health and
nutrition claims (6)
9
Scope Claims Regulation
Concerns use of nutrition and and health claims ...
Medical claims (1)
10
Medical claims: claims directed at the prevention or treatment of a disease
 covered by Medicinal P...
Medical claims (2)
11
Food or pharmaceutical? Relevant factors according to EU case law:
(1) Characteristics of the produc...
Medical claims (3)
12
Landmark case European Court of Justice: van Bennekom (227/82)
> Defines dividing line between medic...
Medical claims (4)
13
District Court Rotterdam 14 March 2014: fine of > € 30K for marketing of
food supplements containing...
Medical claims (5)
14
Medical claims: What are the possibilities re. health products?
• Grey area between medical claims /...
Food information (1)
15
On 13 December 2014: Entry into force of Regulation 1169/2001 re. Food
Information to Consumers. N...
Food information (2)
Language requirements
• Mandatory information should be in a language that is easily understood
by th...
Food information (3)
17
List of ingredients in relation to pictures on product packaging
ECJ, case C-195/14, 4 June 2015
V...
Food information (4)
Legibility
Where should mandatory food information be mentioned?
• Pre-packed food products: directly...
Food information (5)
Nutrition declaration
Energy value and nutrients:
• relate to the food as sold or after preparation, ...
Quiz (1)
20
Do these pictures contain nutrition and/or health claims?
If so, what type of claims?
Quiz (2)
21
And how about this logo?
Quiz (3)
22
How do you assess this health claim: authorized / not authorized?
“Compound X is a bioactive protein supportin...
Quiz (4)
23
What type of claims can be made for these types of products, if any?
Quiz (5)
24
” What health claim for FruitFlow?
• DSM was one of the first companies to obtain authorization for a 13.5
hea...
Quiz (6)
25
• Claim # 1: “helps to maintain a healthy blood flow and benefits
circulation”.
• Claim # 2 “Helps maintain no...
Conclusion
26
• Distinguish between mandatory and voluntary information in B2C
communication re. functional food & nutrace...
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Vitafoods B2C communication in the funtional food

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Vitafoods B2C communication in the funtional food

  1. 1. B2C COMMUNICATION IN THE FUNCTIONAL FOOD & NUTRACEUTICAL SECTOR VitaFoods Geneva, 11 May 2016 Karin Verzijden www.axonlawyers.com
  2. 2. Agenda • Nutrition and Health Claims (Regulation 1924/2006) • Medical claims (Directive 2001/83) • Food Information to Consumers (Regulation 1169/2011) • Quiz with practical examples 2
  3. 3. Introduction Axon Lawyers 3 • Amsterdam based law firm with international focus • Fully dedicated to life sciences, familiar with food business • Assisting high tech companies bringing innovative food products to the market • International network through European Alliance of Life Sciences Law Firms • Reporting current food law developments at blog FoodHealthLegal
  4. 4. Legal framework health and nutrition claims (1) 4 Notion of “claim” is pretty broad: • any message or representation • which is not mandatory under EU or national legislation • in any form (including text but also pictorial or symbolic messages) • that states, suggests or implies that a food has particular characteristics Distinction between: • nutrition claim • health claim
  5. 5. Legal framework health and nutrition claims (2) 5 Nutrition claim vs. health claim • Nutrition claim: claim that states / implies that a food has particular beneficial nutritional properties in terms of energy and / or nutrients “What’s in the product?” • Health claim: claim that states / implies there is a relationship between food and health “What does the product do?”
  6. 6. Legal framework health and nutrition claims (3) 6 General conditions for use of nutrition and health claims • Claimed nutrient has been shown to have a beneficial nutritional or physiological effect. • Claimed nutrient is present in the end product that will produce the claimed effect. • Claimed nutrient is present in a form that is available to be used by the human body (“bio available”). • The quantity of the product that can reasonably be expected to be consumed provides a significant quantity of the claimed nutrient.
  7. 7. Legal framework health and nutrition claims (4) 7 • Nutrition claims are directed at particular nutritional effects: how much energy does a foodstuff provide and / or which nutrients does it contain? • Currently: 30 authorized nutrition claims, subject to specific conditions of use. Claim: High fibre Product contains at least 6 g of fibre/100 g or at least 3 g of fibre/100 kcal. Claim: Source of protein At least 12% of the energy value of the food is provided by proteins.
  8. 8. Legal framework health and nutrition claims (5) 8 3 types health claims: (1) general function claims (222+) (2) disease risk reduction claims (14) (3) Claims related to children’s development and health (11) Ad (1) “Calcium contributes to the normal function of digestive enzymes.” Ad (2) “Barley beta-glucans has been shown to lower/reduce blood cholesterol. High cholesterol is a risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease.” Ad (3) “Iron contributes to normal cognitive development of children.”
  9. 9. Legal framework health and nutrition claims (6) 9 Scope Claims Regulation Concerns use of nutrition and and health claims in all commercial communication re. food products to be delivered to final consumer • Labelling, presentation, advertising • not applicable in exclusively scientific communication • Final consumer: distinction between regular consumer and professional? ECJ, Case C-19/15 dated 19 January 2015 Verband Sozialer Wettbewerb / Innova Vital Gmbh Advocate General 16 February 2016: No distinction between professional / regular consumer
  10. 10. Medical claims (1) 10 Medical claims: claims directed at the prevention or treatment of a disease  covered by Medicinal Products Directive (2001/83) and subsequent national legislation. • Use of medical claims for food product is not allowed. • Distinction between medicinal product / food product not always clear  in cases of doubt legislation on medicinal products > any other legislation. Test applied: medicine by presentation / by function? • Examples: krill oil and magnesium based food supplements were considered medicinal products by presentation. • Sales perceived as marketing of medicinal product without required market authorization > sanctioned by considerable fine.
  11. 11. Medical claims (2) 11 Food or pharmaceutical? Relevant factors according to EU case law: (1) Characteristics of the product: form & composition (product and packaging) and pharmacological properties • If only small quantity of API with no effect on physiological functions > no medicinal product • Starting point: use according to prescription. Not relevant if higher dosage produces relevant physiological effect (2) Risks implied in the use • Forms relevant factor in product qualification, but mere risk does not render product automatically a medicinal product • “Upper safe levels” (art. 5.a Directive 2002/46) does not play decisive role in qualification
  12. 12. Medical claims (3) 12 Landmark case European Court of Justice: van Bennekom (227/82) > Defines dividing line between medicinal products and food Facts • Large quantity of (multi) vitamin preparations traded by Dutch national van Bennekom was seized > contrary to Medicinal Products Supply Act. • Preparations in pharmaceutical form and highly concentrated. • Van Bennekom did not meet registrations & authorization requirements. • According to him, products were foodstuffs, not medicinal products. Ruling • Concept of “presentation” broadly construed > consumer protection. • No benchmark for vitamins to qualify as a medicinal product > evaluation on case-by-case basis. • Under certain circumstances, MS may stop imports of products at stake.
  13. 13. Medical claims (4) 13 District Court Rotterdam 14 March 2014: fine of > € 30K for marketing of food supplements containing vitamin D, Krill oil and magnesium • Information provided on the benefits of the supplements led the authorities to believe that product qualified as medicinal product by presentation. • Criterion broadly interpreted for protection of public health. Learning: in the Netherlands DDR-claims that deviate from authorized wording quickly qualify as medical claims.
  14. 14. Medical claims (5) 14 Medical claims: What are the possibilities re. health products? • Grey area between medical claims / nutrition and health claims • Useful tool Dutch self-regulatory body: Indicative List Health Recommendation accessible by keyword and indication • Similar initiatives in other EU Member States
  15. 15. Food information (1) 15 On 13 December 2014: Entry into force of Regulation 1169/2001 re. Food Information to Consumers. New elements in comparison to previous legislation: • Additional requirements re. list of ingredients and language requirements; • Detailed requirements re. legibility; • Nutrition declaration compulsory as of 13 December 2016. However, when health claims are used, nutrition declaration must also be applied. Also explicit prohibition that food information shall not attribute to any food the property of preventing, treating or curing a human disease.
  16. 16. Food information (2) Language requirements • Mandatory information should be in a language that is easily understood by the consumer of the MS where product is marketed. • MS may stipulate that mandatory information is in one or more of the official EU languages re. food products marketed in their territory. List of ingredients • Heading “ingredients” followed by list of ingredients in descending order of weight; • Ingredients that may cause allergies/intolerances should be emphasised through a specific type set; • QUID when ingredient is contained in name of the product or otherwise emphasized to characterize the product. 16
  17. 17. Food information (3) 17 List of ingredients in relation to pictures on product packaging ECJ, case C-195/14, 4 June 2015 Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband e.V. v Teekanne GmbH & Co. KG • German Company Teekanne marketed a fruit tea called Felix raspberry and vanilla adventure. • Packaging contained pictures of raspberry and vanilla, but none of these ingredients were specified in the list of ingredients. • ECJ: even if list of ingredients is correct, it cannot be excluded that consumer will be misled.
  18. 18. Food information (4) Legibility Where should mandatory food information be mentioned? • Pre-packed food products: directly on the package or on the label attached thereto; • Non pre-packed food products: MS can take national measures re. communication of materials causing allergens/intolerances. How should the mandatory information be shaped? • Easily visible and clearly legible; • Minimum font size1.2 mm or 0.9 mm when packaging < 80 cm2. 18
  19. 19. Food information (5) Nutrition declaration Energy value and nutrients: • relate to the food as sold or after preparation, provided that sufficiently clear instructions for preparation are provided; • are expressed per 100 g or 100 ml; • only in addition thereto expression per portion / consumption unit  provided that portion is quantified and number of portions mentioned. Presentation: • in tabular format (if space does not permit: in linear format); • different forms of expression permitted when supported by wide range of stake holders and not misleading for the consumer. 19
  20. 20. Quiz (1) 20 Do these pictures contain nutrition and/or health claims? If so, what type of claims?
  21. 21. Quiz (2) 21 And how about this logo?
  22. 22. Quiz (3) 22 How do you assess this health claim: authorized / not authorized? “Compound X is a bioactive protein supporting healthy aging”
  23. 23. Quiz (4) 23 What type of claims can be made for these types of products, if any?
  24. 24. Quiz (5) 24 ” What health claim for FruitFlow? • DSM was one of the first companies to obtain authorization for a 13.5 health claim re. positive effect van lycopene extracted from tomato's. • Product Fruitflow is offered in powder and in liquid format. • Active dose: 3 g / 250 ml drink or 150 mg / daily dose or portion.
  25. 25. Quiz (6) 25 • Claim # 1: “helps to maintain a healthy blood flow and benefits circulation”. • Claim # 2 “Helps maintain normal platelet aggregation, which contributes to a normal bloodflow”. • Claim # 3: “Fruitflow as a natural alternative to Aspirin”. Which one do you think was granted?
  26. 26. Conclusion 26 • Distinguish between mandatory and voluntary information in B2C communication re. functional food & nutraceuticals; make sure that mandatory information complies with applicable legal framework. • When using voluntary information: expressions quickly qualify as a nutrition or health claim. Know the rules! • Only use authorized claims in B2C communication and avoid medical claims in combination with food products.

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