Thursday, 10 April 2014

Labeling health claims - CJEU in Ehrmann (C-609/12)

10 April 2014: CJEU judgment in Ehrmann (C-609/12)

We previously wrote about an opinion in this case (see for the facts of the case: "As important as a daily glass of milk!"...) concerning a potential health claim used by Ehrmann to advertise its fruit quark as "as important as a daily glass of milk". The AG considered the comparison made between two products as suggesting that eating fruit quark is as beneficial to the consumers' health as drinking milk, while most consumers believe in nutritional value of drinking milk. This would allow for this advertising slogan to be considered a health claim. 

The CJEU's judgment decides since when the protection against misleading health claims was in force. The Regulation No 1924/2006 entered into force on 19 January 2007 and has been applicable since 1 July 2007 (Par. 33). The advertising slogan in question first appeared on the product in 2010 (Par. 35). At that time the list of allowed/prohibited health claims referred to in Art. 10(1) of that Regulation has not yet been published. This notwithstanding, the CJEU decides that prior to adoption of these lists the food business operators were already obliged to conform to the requirements of Art. 10(2) of the Regulation, on the basis of which they are supposed to provide consumers with detailed information accompanying health claims on the product's label and in advertising (Par. 42).

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