'We found over twenty products which appear to break the Medicines Act guidelines and the Food Labelling Regulations,' said the Food Commission's co-director, Dr Tim Lobstein. 'According to the law, a product making a health claim must have a medicines licence which the manufacturers can only get when they have proved the product really does what it claims. The phrases we found on foods appear to be breaking the law -- and we are calling for a test case to decide the matter.'
The Food Commission criticises many of the products for creating confusion about healthy eating. 'Many so-called functional foods are high in fat, sugar or salt, and yet they are implying that they are the best thing you can eat to keep healthy,' said Dr Lobstein. 'Truly functional foods are the simple, wholesome ones, like fresh fruit and vegetables, but manufacturers don't make enough money from those and would rather add a spurious 'health' image to less healthy, processed foods.'
*Functional Foods Examined, 1996
The Food Commission is calling on the government's Food Advisory Committee to reject an application by the makers of Olestra, Procter & Gamble.
Contact: The Food Commission, 0171-628 7774.
See report summary in the latest issue of The Food Magazine available from:
The Food Commission, 5/11 Worship Street, London EC2A 2BH. UK. Price £3.50.