Glycaemic index labeling and related claims

The EU Commission just answered to a Member of the European Parliament query about the chance to do glycaemic index claims on the labels in EU.

The answer is interesting in the sense that opens half a door to national interpretation by competent authorities about the issue.

Please do share your thoughts and experience regarding this interpretation of the EU Commission and national enforcement. This would be of great help to many peers.

29th November 2018 – Question for written answer E-006064-18 to the Commission

Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods lays down the criteria to be met by such claims. This would appear to cover glycaemic index labelling, which provides important indications regarding the metabolic effects of a given food product.

In this connection, it appears that 16 applications for health claim authorisations seeking to establish a link between the glycaemic index of a food or food ingredient and its effects on health have apparently been rejected.

Can the Commission say whether glycaemic index food labelling falls under Regulation (EC) 1924/2006?

If not, what provisions apply to glycaemic index labelling?

24th January 2019 – Answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the European Commission

The Commission considers claims referring to the glycaemic index (GI) of a food as falling under the scope of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 (1).

In the context of the assessment of health claims applications on carbohydrates with a low GI, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) considered that carbohydrates with a low GI are not sufficiently characterised. EFSA further explained that ‘the GI of a carbohydrate-containing food depends on several factors other than the amount of available (glycaemic) carbohydrates present (e.g. amount and type of dietary fibre, amount of dietary fat, energy density, physical properties, mode of preparation) […]’ (2).

Nevertheless, EFSA assessed in the past with a favourable outcome several health claims on the reduction of post-prandial glycaemic response as the specific health benefit. The latter is reflected in the authorised wording of the corresponding permitted health claims (3).

When enforcing EC law in this context, Member States may allow GI-claims accompanied by or similar to the authorised claims on post-prandial glycaemic response within the limits set by Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006.

(1) https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32006R1924&from=en
(2) https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1491
(3) Commission Regulation (EU) No 432/2012 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:02012R0432-20170822&from=EN

(Source: EU Parliament)

Some examples of actual authorised health claims on the reduction of post-prandial glycaemic response:

  1. Consumption of beta-glucans from oats or barley as part of a meal contributes to the reduction of the blood glucose rise after that meal

(The claim may be used only for food which contains at least 4 g of beta-glucans from oats or barley for each 30 g of available carbohydrates in a quantified portion as part of the meal. In order to bear the claim information shall be given to the consumer that the beneficial effect is obtained by consuming the beta-glucans from oats or barley as part of the meal).

2. Consumption of arabinoxylan as part of a meal contributes to a reduction of the blood glucose rise after that meal

(The claim may be used only for food which contains at least 8 g of arabinoxylan (AX)-rich fibre produced from wheat endosperm (at least 60 % AX by weight) per 100 g of available carbohydrates in a quantified portion as part of the meal. In order to bear the claim information shall be given to the consumer that the beneficial effect is obtained by consuming the arabinoxylan (AX)-rich fibre produced from wheat endosperm as part of the meal).

Webinar – New Chinese draft Regulations on general and nutrition labeling explained (texts in EN available to subscribers)

In cooperation with HFG law firm in Shanghai, we are proud to offer the first webinar on the potential changes of food labeling legislation in China.

Drafts of GB 7718 (Standard for general labeling for prepackaged food) and GB 28050 (Standard for nutritional labeling for prepackaged food) were disclosed in December 2018. We are talking about two unexplored cornerstones of food labeling regulation in China.

Although those are only non-final versions, therefore potentially still subject to further modifications, companies can learn a lot from these drafts to understand what may possibly change – which will have a crucial impact on their marketing and compliance.

  1. CONTENT/MODALITIES

Duration: estimated 2 h webinar (plus Q&A time) to ease the direct interaction. Questions will be made in chat during the webinar, and the speaker will answer during the speech or at the end. If you are not shy you’ll have the opportunity to speak your questions live in the Q&A phase as well.

After the webinar you’ll receive the presentation, together with the recording and a bunch of bonus materials.

The connection will be via UberConference. You can dial in via phone (toll free) or connect with your computer without any install or dial in. After subscription you will receive all the details to access UberConference and test in any moment the system, to avoid any last minute technical issue.

  1. DATE
  • 15th February 2019 from 9 a.m. to 11a.m. CET (Shanghai time 4.30 p.m.)
  1. PRICING/SUBSCRIPTION

For subscriptions, please write at foodlawlatest@gmail.com, indicating:

  • your name and surname
  • company name/affiliation
  • only participation to webinar or webinar + standards translated
  • invoicing/billing details (including a tax/VAT/registration number for your company)

Pricing:

  • 200 €/subscription to the webinar (the 2nd person from the same company/organization will benefit of a 20% discount);

OR

  • 250 €/subscription to the webinar + receiving in advance full English translation of the drafts GB 7718 and GB 28050

(the 2nd person from the same company/organization will benefit of a 20% discount);

Payment should be made upfront.

  1. PROGRAMS

New draft standard GB 7718 (prepackaged food labeling)

Highlight on the main changes, which include:

  • QUID for ingredients;
  • Products name;
  • Positive and negative claims;
  • Allergenic ingredients labeling;
  • Additive declaration
  • Labeling in case of entrusted production
  • Labeling of suitable categories of people

New draft standard GB 28050 (nutritional labeling)

Highlight on the main changes, which include:

  • mandatory content;
  • exemptions to nutritional labeling;
  • definitions of specific nutrients;
  • error ranges;
  • Recommended serving
  • Recommended graphic
  • allowed nutritional claims (content, comparative, function);
  • label formats
  1. SPEAKER

Nicola Aporti is an Italian-qualified lawyer, who supports international clients in establishing and running their operations in China. He is established in Shanghai since 2006 and he is Head of Corporate and Food Regulatory at the law firm HFG

He has substantive experience in supporting food companies in China in the areas of food regulatory, consumer protection, food licenses, IP and contractual matters.

Nicola is author of Guida alla normativa dell’Industria Alimentare in Cina, Food Editore, Parma 2013; Introduccion al Derecho Alimentario en China, Thomson Reuters Aranzadi, Madrid 2014; and co-author of Sostenibilita’ e Cina, L’Asino d’Oro, Milano 2014. Moreover, Nicola regularly writes articles on reviews  such as LexologyRivista di diritto Alimentare, Food, eFood Lab, and  posts weekly updates on his www.chinafoodlaw.blog

He is a well recognized international speaker and author.