The Regulation on Health Claims for Food and Food Supplements (“Regulation”) has entered into force upon its publication on the Official Gazette numbered 32169 and dated 20 April 2023. In addition, the Turkish Food Codex Regulation on Nutrition Claims regulating nutrition claims has entered into force upon its publication on the same issue of the Official Gazette. Accordingly, the Turkish Food Codex Regulation on Nutrition and Health Claims, which has previously regulated nutrition and health claims for food and food supplements, has been repealed.
These long-awaited new regulations have introduced fundamental changes particularly with respect to health claims for food and food supplements, permission requirement that had be followed before competent administrative authorities has been completely abolished.
Highlights of the New Regulations
- In pursuance of the Regulation, “The Guideline for Health Claims for Food and Food Supplements" listing the permitted health claims has been drafted by the Ministry of Health Turkish Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Authority (“Authority”) and has been published on the official website of the Authority on 26 April 2023.
- The Guideline contains the List of Health Claims allowed to be used for food and food supplements and other detailed provisions regarding health claims. The Guideline also includes implementing rules for the Regulation and illustrative examples to substantiate how health claims could be in practice.
- The health claims set forth in the Guideline for food and food supplements can be used without the need to have any official permission from administrative authorities and without the need to make any official declaration thereto. The health claims listed in the Guideline can be used for food and food supplements, which have official permission from Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry for being launched into market by authorized food and food supplements companies, if they comply with the provisions of the Regulation and the Guideline.
- However, the Authority may limit the use of health claims and may request information and documents from the food business operators if it is deemed necessary for protection of public health.
- The Regulation also provides a transition clause regarding products for which health claims were used pursuant to the repealed regulation. Accordingly, subject to certain conditions, health claims can be used as per the former regulation until 31 December 2024 for products that have already been launched or will be launched into the market.
Under the repealed regulation, the use of health claims in labelling, promotion and advertising of food supplements was subject to official permission by the Authority. However, it was observed that health claims were nevertheless used with no permission or in a manner violating the provision of the repealed regulation. We are of the opinion that necessary monitoring and supervision mechanisms should be implemented by the Authority to prevent advertisements and promotions that may threaten public health since the no official permission procedure has been implemented by the new legislation.