Health Claims

When a product bears a health claim, very specific language must be used on the label. The regulations governing health claims are very complex; therefore, health claim situations should be handled on a case-by-case basis. The language associated with a health claim must conform to regulatory guidelines, which provide model health claim statements. Products bearing health claims must undergo careful review by legal experts, regulatory experts, or both to be certain the language is accurate and any graphics are acceptable.

Model Statements. The regulations pertaining to each health claim outline the assertions that may be made and any additional required statements. When a claim is implied through graphic representations, a complete claim statement must be included on the label.

Design Elements. All information required in a health claim must appear in one place, in the same type size, and without other intervening material. Because the required statements can be quite lengthy, the complete claim may appear on a back or side panel. When this approach is taken, a reference statement may be placed on the PDP, flagging the claim and directing the consumer to the loca tion of the claim (eg, "See_for information about the relationship between_and_"). The first blank contains the location of the health claim (eg, back panel, attached pamphlet), the second blank states the nutrient, and the third blank names the disease or health-related condition.

When any graphic material implying or expressing a health claim is used on the label or in accompanying labeling materials (eg, pamphlet), the entire claim statement or a reference statement must appear in immediate proximity to the graphics.

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