Food manufacturers wanting to make a health claim for their products could be forced to supply evidence of large-scale and long-term human clinical trials, if proposed new international guidelines get the go-ahead.

Under new draft recommendations proposed by the World Health Organisation and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, suppliers will also have to make sure they submit any information on known reactions between their food and any other product.

The new guidelines, which are proposed through the organisations’ Codex committee on nutrition and foods for special dietary uses, come as a result of a long-term global initiative to improve the scientific basis for health claims made by foods, food groups and food constituents.

Although separate from the recent proposed new European regulations on food claims, the Codex recommendations could be used to influence the European legislative proposals, said a Food Standards Agency spokeswoman. The FSA is consulting on the proposals until September 25.

>>p37 Terms of combat