Islanders are to have more time to give their views about a consultation on draft regulations concerning food supplements and nutrition and health claims.
Jersey’s Health Protection Department is seeking written comments from Islanders as part of the food legislation consultation, which has now been extended until 25 January. The consultation began on 12 December, and the original deadline has now been extended by a week.
The two draft regulations are:
• Community Provisions (Food Supplements)(Jersey) Regulations 201-
• Community Provisions (Nutrition and Health Claims on Food)(Jersey) Regulations 201-
Val Cameron, Head of Health Protection in Jersey said: “We are very pleased that the Minister for Health and Social Services has agreed to extend the consultation until 25th January to ensure that all interested parties have time to submit their comments.
“There have been a number of responses to the consultation so far, although there has been some confusion. This consultation is about foods including food supplements, only and does not include herbal remedies and medicinal claims. We welcome all views and responses so far. I am particularly keen to hear from food businesses who export vitamins and minerals to the UK, especially those advertising foods on the internet.”
“These statutory provisions will introduce controls on the labelling and composition of food supplements and introduce specific rules on vitamins and minerals in food supplements to ensure that these products are safe and appropriately labelled so that consumers can make informed choices.
The legislation will introduce controls for nutritional labelling of all food and health claims made about all food, through labelling and advertising.”
Written comments about both food supplements and nutrition and health claims are invited from the public by 25 January 2013. At the end of the consultation, a report will be prepared for the Minister of Health and Social Services for consideration before the proposed legislation is lodged with the States.
Food supplements are concentrated sources of nutrients or other substances with a nutritional or physiological effect, whose purpose is to supplement the normal diet. Food supplements are marketed ‘in dose’ form, for example as pills, tablets, capsules or liquids in measured doses etc. Supplements may be used to correct nutritional deficiencies or maintain an adequate intake of certain nutrients. However, in some cases, excessive intake of vitamins and minerals may be harmful or may cause unwanted side effects; therefore, maximum levels are necessary to ensure their safe use in food supplements.
A health claim is any statement used on labels, in marketing or in advertising that health benefits can result from consuming a given food or from one of its components such as vitamins and minerals, fibre, and ‘probiotic’ bacteria. There are different types of health claims. For instance, statements that a food can help reinforce the body’s natural defences or enhance learning ability are called “general function” claims. Examples also include claims on the reduction of disease risk and other substances that may improve or modify the normal functions of the body, e.g. “Plant sterol have shown to reduce cholesterol levels, a risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease” or “Calcium may help improve bone density”.
A nutrition claim states or suggests that a food has particular beneficial nutritional properties. Examples include “low fat”, “source of omega-3 fatty acids” or “high in fibre”.