Making and substantiating a health claim
Food products can carry health claims to advertise their health benefits. Find out what you must do to make a health claim.
Requirements for making a health claim
Foods must meet certain nutrition requirements to carry a health claim. There are 2 ways you can make a general level health claim. You can:
- make a claim based on a pre-approved food-health relationship
- self-substantiate a claim by providing scientific evidence.
For high level health claims you can only use a pre-approved claim.
Making a pre-approved claim
Most health claims will be based on a pre-approved food-health relationship. The Food Standards Code lists over 200 general level health claims. A smaller number of high level claims are in part five of Schedule 4. For each claim, the code tells you the requirements your food must meet.
Self-substantiating a general level health claim
If you identify a food-health relationship that has not been pre-approved, you can self-substantiate a claim. You can only self-substantiate for general level health claims. Those are claims that do not relate to diseases or serious illnesses.
You can't self-substantiate a high level health claim.
How to self-substantiate a general level claim
To self-substantiate your health claim, you need a large amount of scientific evidence to back it up. You will need to meet the requirements of schedule 6 of the Food Standards Code.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has provided a guidance document to help you.
Guidance on how to self-substantiate a food health claim [PDF, 413 KB]
If you are self-substantiating a claim for a supplemented food, you need to fill out an FA5 form for MPI. This is a requirement of the NZ Supplemented Food Standard 2016.
How self-substantiated general level health claims are evaluated
MPI evaluates the scientific evidence provided for self-substantiated health claims made by New Zealand companies. The evaluation is confidential.
notification of a self-substantiated general level health claim needs to come directly to MPI via an FA5 form as per the requirements of the NZ Supplemented Food Standard 2016.
Guidance documents for making a health claim
Regulations for making a claim
All health claims must comply with Standard 1.2.7.
Who to contact
If you have questions about making and substantiating a health claim, email firstname.lastname@example.org