The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published its scientific evaluations of 2,758 of health claims for the marketing of foods. Only one fifth of these claims were ultimately approved. The evaluations form part of the EU’s strategy for encouraging consumers to make informed choices in their diet.
Rejected claims include those where beneficial effects to humans lacked evidence, such as some foods claiming “antioxidant properties” or easing “renal water elimination”. Similarly, vague claims such as assertions of added “energy” and “vitality” were rejected.
But not all food products marketed as good for health fall in this category. Professor Albert Flynn, who chaired the panel in charge of reviewing the claims, said in a press release that EFSA’s independent evaluation had concluded that a considerable number of claims made on foods “are backed by sound science, including claims related to a wide range of health benefits.”
Claimed that were approved by EFSA as scientifically-grounded included those on certain fibers and blood cholesterol, walnuts and improved functioning of blood vessels, and the enhanced sports performance through carbohydrate-electrolyte drinks.