Multi-Stakeholder Responses to the European Health Claims Requirements – A Law and Economics Assessment of Regulation (EU) 1924/2006

Journal on Chain and Network Sciences (2013 Forthcoming)

Wageningen Working Paper in Law and Governance No. 2013/01

Posted: 27 Sep 2013 Last revised: 19 Oct 2014

See all articles by Harry Bremmers

Harry Bremmers

Wageningen UR - Law and Governance Group

Bernd van der Meulen

European Institute for Food Law; University of Copenhagen - Institute of Food and Resource Economics

Kai P. Purnhagen

Wageningen University; Erasmus University of Rotterdam - Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics

Date Written: September 25, 2013

Abstract

Stakeholder groups have different interests in health claims which may be complementary but also conflicting. It is not clear on beforehand, how managers should deal with legal requirements on claims. Nor is it clear how legal authorities can adjust the present claims regime to address market, consumer, business and normative requirements. This article aims to assess the strategic responses to health claims legislation and implementation by multiple stakeholders with seemingly complementary wishes, but also controversial expectancies: especially consumers, businesses and public authorities. A multidisciplinary approach is carried out, using insights from food technological and medical, economic, legal and managerial sciences. The EU-claims regime and the responses of multiple stakeholder groups are investigated using available research supplemented with case studies of probiotics and botanicals. The system is evaluated within the context of the structure of food law and the legitimate rights and obligations of stakeholders in food supply chains and networks.

The main finding is that the costs and uncertainties attached to health claims are important factors impacting the innovation efforts of businesses, the willingness-to-pay of consumers and the effectiveness of public policy. In order to cope with the shortfalls, the EU claims regime needs to switch from a regime-based to a product-based approach by levelling the disparities between the different legal regimes such as foods and pharmaceuticals. Furthermore, a dialogue between stakeholders and adjustment of the present legal system is suggested to reduce the perceived uncertainties and to be able to provide food information in an effective and less risky way.

Keywords: health claims, stakeholder responses, food information, business strategy

JEL Classification: F15, H51, I12, K32, Q 18, D18, D11

Suggested Citation

Bremmers, Harry and van der Meulen, Bernd M.J. and Purnhagen, Kai Peter, Multi-Stakeholder Responses to the European Health Claims Requirements – A Law and Economics Assessment of Regulation (EU) 1924/2006 (September 25, 2013). Wageningen Working Paper in Law and Governance No. 2013/01. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2330737 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2330737

Harry Bremmers (Contact Author)

Wageningen UR - Law and Governance Group ( email )

Hollandseweg 1
Wageningen, 6706KN
Netherlands

Bernd M.J. Van der Meulen

European Institute for Food Law ( email )

Muzenplein 3
Amsterdam, 1077wc
Netherlands

University of Copenhagen - Institute of Food and Resource Economics ( email )

Rolighedsvej 25
Copenhagen, 1958
Denmark

Kai Peter Purnhagen

Wageningen University ( email )

Hollandseweg 1
Wageningen, 6706KN
Netherlands

Erasmus University of Rotterdam - Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
PO box 1738
Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands

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