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EU Quashes Free Speech in Health Claims

Posted: December 18, 2012 |   Comments

Europe has rejected 95% of the health and nutrition claims under review. What does this mean for us?

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) evaluated 2,037 health claims - that is, statements that a nutrient or food contributes to or has a positive impact on a particular health condition - and authorized the use of only 241 of them. Most of the ones accepted were related to structure or function claims, such as "calcium contributes to normal muscle function."

As we've reported previously, structure/function claims are statements that describe the role of a nutrient or dietary ingredient as it affects normal structure or function in humans. In the US, structure/function claims like "calcium builds strong bones" or "vitamin D boosts immune system function" are allowed, but one cannot legally cite the science showing that vitamin D prevents and treats the flu. The flu is considered a disease, so this is forbidden. With the EU's list, we see the same censorship at work, only more so.

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