Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
COUTINHO, Janine Giuberti and RECINE, Elisabetta. International experiences with health claims in food labeling. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2007, vol.22, n.6, pp. 432-437. ISSN 1020-4989. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892007001100012.
With ever-increasing frequency, consumers are seeking information on the foods they eat. Food labels are an important source of this type of information, and the Codex Alimentarius, created by the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, provides a global reference for coordinated food quality and identification standards. The Codex Alimentarius agenda includes nutritional information and "health claims," which are defined as any representation that states, suggests, or implies that a relationship exists between a food or a constituent of that food and health. Although food labeling seems to effectively assist consumers in choosing among processed foods, consumers are not always capable of reading or interpreting nutritional information correctly, so health claims may allow for more precise decision-making for these products. The present paper examines the use of health claims in countries and regions that have already implemented this type of regulation (Brazil, Chile, Canada, United States of America, the European Union, and Japan).
Keywords : functional claim; legislation; food; food labeling; Brazil.