Labelling and claims in Europe
In 1996, the Institute for European Food Study (IEFS) conducted a pan-European
survey concerning the motivations of food choices (and purchases) in the
fifteen countries of the European Union. The results were not ambiguous:
clearly, the consideration of the links between foods and health only arrives in
the fourth position, after quality, price and taste and is quoted only by about
one third of the interviewed people. Even, in France, only 8% of consumers
quoted nutrition as a motivation. However, as in many other developed countries,
there is a strong trend to the development of health claims on food labels.
In the absence of European harmonization, the papers elaborated by the Codex
alimentarius frequently constituted the basis of national propositions.