Mercosur nutrition claims regulation next step in harmonization

Mercosur nutrition claims regulation next step in harmonization

Regulation agreed by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela applies to food and supplement labels and advertising of foods produced in or imported to member countries.

Mercosur’s harmonized technical regulation on complementary nutrition information (nutrition claims) is an important step towards harmonizing regulation and strengthening integration, EAS has said.

The regulation, agreed by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela in April 2012, applies to food and food supplement label information and any advertising media of foods produced in, or imported to, the member countries. By the end of 2012 Brazil and Uruguay had internalized the regulation through the publication of national decrees.

The regulation incorporates all of the nutrients with which claims can be used, as well as the energy content, and includes new nutrients eligible for claims, such as omega-3, -6 and -9 fatty acids and trans fat. Food products must be in compliance with the new regulation by Jan. 1, 2014.

“Of the four original member countries, the only two with existing regulation on nutrition claims are Argentina and Brazil,” said Clara Giudice, regulatory affairs manager at EAS América Latina. “While Paraguay and Uruguay have not had specific national regulation, both have taken as a reference the regulations of other countries when dealing with nutrition claims on their markets. This regulation is an important step forward not only towards clear region-specific rules for nutrition claims, but for the harmonization process in general in this Latin-American trade block.”

The grouping has already issued several harmonized regulations on food, covering issues such as food additives, nutrition labeling, good manufacturing practices and contaminants.

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