On January 24th, 2024, experts from the Food Evaluation Center of the State Administration for Market Regulation published an article titled "Comparative Study of Regulations on Functional Claims for Food and Health Supplements: Domestic and International Perspectives" in the journal "China Food and Nutrition."
The study analyzed regulations, standards, and guidelines from countries such as the United States, the European Union, South Korea, Japan, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, with a focus on defining, classifying, and establishing evidentiary requirements for functional claims.
The article also examined the current situation of functional claim management, health function evaluation requirements, and evaluation practices in China. The findings revealed that the permitted functional claims in China are limited and do not include claims related to disease risk reduction, which does not meet market demands.
In recent years, there has been relatively lenient regulation on general food products, including special dietary foods, sports nutrition foods, functional beverages, solid beverages, and cross-border e-commerce foods, which do not require registration. These products make various functional claims through labels, advertisements, and social media, including claims related to disease prevention and treatment. This phenomenon necessitates strengthened management and further discussion on the scientific basis, accuracy, and reliability of these functionalities.
Considering the international landscape and China's current status, the article proposes several recommendations: establishing specialized regulations or standards for managing functional claims in food, determining evaluation criteria for food health functions, and conducting careful research and promotion of traditional functionalities. These suggestions aim to enhance the effectiveness of functional claim management in China.
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