A health claim is any representation in labelling or advertising that states, suggests, or implies that a relationship exists between consumption of a food or an ingredient in the food and a person’s health. Certain types of claims are permitted for food products, so long as the product meets specific criteria whereas other claims require mandatory pre-market submissions to Health Canada before they can be used.
A health claim is any representation in labelling or advertising that states, suggests, or implies that a relationship exists between consumption of a food or an ingredient in the food and a person’s health. Claims on food products can take many different forms. Claims can be considered disease risk reduction or therapeutic claims, function claims including nutrient function claims and probiotic claims, or general health claims.
Function claims relate to the effects that a food has on the normal functions of the body. These claims also include nutrient function claims and probiotic claims and can be used when food products meet certain specified conditions outlined in the Food and Drug Regulations.
General health claims are broad claims that promote health through healthy eating or provide dietary guidance. These types of claims can be used when they are in line with the dietary recommendations outlined in Canada’s Food Guide.
Disease risk reduction and therapeutic claims are health claims that place the food under the definition of a drug (i.e. claims related to the diagnosis, treatment, mitigation or prevention of a disease, etc.). These types of health claims require mandatory pre-market submissions that must be approved by the Food Directorate of Health Canada as well as possible regulatory amendments before the food can be marketed with the intended health claim. These pre-market submissions must include evidence of causality, generalizability and quality assurance.
For proposed health claims that do not bring the food under the definition of a drug, pre-market approval by Health Canada is not required. However, any claims used must be truthful and not misleading and manufacturers must keep evidence on-hand substantiating the claim in case requested. Manufactures may choose to prepare a voluntary submission to Health Canada in these cases to ensure the evidence they have on-hand provides acceptable support.
NHP Consulting will guide you through determining the type of claims made on your food products and their compliance.