Sugar helps the energy metabolism and is still unhealthy
(Jur). Health-related advertising for food can be inadmissible even if the statements are correct. Although glucose is important for the energy metabolism, but health promotion should not call for the consumption of more sugar, on Wednesday, 16 March 2016, the court of first instance of the European Union (ECJ) ruled in Luxembourg (Ref .: T-100/15 ). It dismissed a lawsuit from Dextro Energy.
Health-related advertising for food is restricted under EU law. Appropriate so-called health claims must be allowed. They are recorded in a list and can then be used by all companies throughout the EU. Judgment on sugar. Image: Jiri Hera - fotolia
The German company Dextro Energy based in Meerbusch near Neuss had made corresponding applications in 2011. It was about statements such as "glucose contributes to a normal energy metabolism" or "glucose supports physical activity".
The European Food Safety Authority EFSA confirmed these statements from a scientific point of view. Further formal requirements for the health claims are fulfilled.
Nevertheless, the European Commission refused to approve. The advertisement sends "a confusing signal to the consumers". Because she calls for the consumption of sugar, although a reduction in sugar consumption is generally recommended.
The lawsuit filed by Dextro Energy was unsuccessful. In particular, as the ECJ ruled, a positive opinion from EFSA is not binding on the European Commission. Rather, the Commission should also take into account other relevant factors.
According to generally accepted health principles, consumers in Euroopa should undoubtedly reduce their consumption of sugar, stressed the Luxembourg judges. On the other hand, Dextro Energy's health claims unilaterally exposed the positive effects of glucose "without mentioning the dangers associated with consuming more sugar". The Commission rightly held that that was "ambiguous and misleading" and therefore could not be allowed.
Dextro Energy may appeal against this judgment to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg. (MWO)