Changes for food health claims
The new Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) standard – which was agreed by New Zealand and Australian Ministers in December – has been designed to provide new opportunities for food companies to make credible and evidenced-based health claims about their products. The food industry has three years to fully comply with the new standard.
The standard allows food manufacturers to make two types of health claims. One is “general level health claims”, that refers to a nutrient or substance in a food and its effect on a health function, e.g. “Calcium is good for bones and teeth”. Claims like this are not allowed to refer to a serious disease or to a biomarker or indicator of a serious disease.
Food businesses can make general level health claims based on one of the more than 200 pre-approved food-health relationships set out in the standard. They can also “selfsubstantiate” a food-health relationship as detailed in requirements set out in the standard.
This is an innovative approach to health claims regulation, and provides f lexibility and speed for the entry of new products into the market place.
The other is “high level health claims”, which refers to a nutrient or substance in a food and its relationship to a serious disease or a biomarker of a serious disease, such as: “Diets high in calcium may reduce the risk of osteoporosis in people 65 years and over”.
These health claims must be based on a food-health relationship that has been preapproved by FSANZ. There are currently 13 pre-approved food-health relationships for high-level health claims listed in the standard.
Nutrition content claims, such as “good source of calcium”, will continue to be allowed.
More information about the standard can be found on FSANZ’ website at: