“Facilitates digestion” “,” detox “,” fight against anemia “,” source of vitamins “… On food products, therapeutic claims are numerous, but rarely proven, warns the Directorate General of competition, consumption and repression of fraud (DGCCRF) in a new report released on June 21.
69% anomalies in online sales
This report is the result of a study carried out in 2019, the mission of which was to control 300 establishments. The anomaly rate thus noted stands at 44% on average, with a difference between physical stores (38% anomaly) and online sales sites (69%).
Figures higher than those of the previous survey in 2016, which had 21% anomalies. Because today, the DGCCRF has specifically targeted “the products most likely to carry health claims: infusions, teas, chocolates, breakfast cereals, bee products“, explains the instance.
A risk to the health of consumers
Problem: these anomalies “influence the purchasing act of consumers“. They must therefore be”founded“but also that”their formulation does not have a negative impact on the health of consumers, in particular the most vulnerable, who could wrongly take the products which carry them as a substitute for therapeutic means“worries the DGCCRF.
Unauthorized claims …
The most common “anomalies” are indeed the “presence of therapeutic claims“, for example “is used during a cold“,”to fight against anemia” or “used in the treatment of certain dermatoses such as acne, eczema, psoriasis“.
Then comes the presence “unauthorized health claims” as “coconut aids digestion” or “biotin contributes to the maintenance of normal nails“.
… or incorrect wording
The DGCCRF also points to a failure to respect the wording of the allegations, which modifies their meaning as “vitamin C increases the immune system“instead of the authorized claim”vitamin C contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system“.
Finally, general claims, for example the words “superfruit” or “detox“are problematic, as are claims that do not conform to the composition of the product, such as when the vitamin content is too low to use the claim”source of vitamins“.