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Tuesday 6th December 2016
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Superfood 'ban'

29th June 2007

New EU rules will ban products from being labelled as "superfoods" unless they can be proven to have such attributes.

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Foods such as blueberries, salmon, spinach and soy have all become known as superfoods because they are rich in nutrients.

There have also been claims that some so-called superfoods can protect against cancer and heart disease but other experts say there is no evidence to support this.

About 100 products have been branded as superfoods and sales have soared but nutritionists say to market them as such is misleading.

Now, the new EU laws covering this will apply to all food or drink products made or sold for human consumption within EU nations, banning the term superfood unless it is accompanied by a specific authorised health claim that explains to consumers why the product is good for their health.

Companies have two years to bring their marketing in line with the ruling.

The Food Standards Agency say the use of general terms on food, such as "healthy for you" or "superfood" imply a health benefit but a spokesman added: "These terms do not communicate why the food is healthy or a superfood. So, the regulation requires they are backed up by a relevant and authorised health claim. This way the consumer knows why this food is healthy."

Kevin Hawkins of the British Retail Consortium agreed that claims such as "good for your heart" should be supported by science but was concerned that the legislation may also thwart national health campaigns and compromise innovation of healthier products.

 

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