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Regulating Health Foods

Policy Challenges and Consumer Conundrums Jill E. Hobbs, Professor, University of Saskatchewan, Stavroula Malla Associate Professor, University of Lethbridge, Eric K. Sogah, Research Associate, University of Lethbridge and May T. Yeung, Research Associate, Estey Centre for Law and Economics in International Trade, Canada
With ageing populations, rising incomes and a growing recognition of the link between diet and health, consumers are interested in new food products, supplements and ingredients with purported health benefits. The food industry has responded with new food innovations, formulations and enhancements that comprise the growing health food market, manifesting the need to design regulatory frameworks to govern valid health claims.
Extent: 288 pp
Hardback Price: £80.00 Web: £72.00
Publication Date: 2014
ISBN: 978 1 78347 471 4
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  • Development Studies
  • Agricultural Economics
  • Development Studies
  • Economics and Finance
  • Agricultural Economics
  • Health Policy and Economics
With ageing populations, rising incomes and a growing recognition of the link between diet and health, consumers are interested in new food products, supplements and ingredients with purported health benefits. The food industry has responded with new food innovations, formulations and enhancements that comprise the growing health food market, manifesting the need to design regulatory frameworks to govern valid health claims.

Regulating Health Foods provides an assessment of the regulatory environment governing the health food sector in key developed markets, including the US, the EU, Japan, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, as well as significant emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Korea. It examines the different definitions of ‘health food’, product approval processes and health claims regulation in these markets. Against this backdrop, the book also offers insight into the nature of the health food sector in selected countries and examines the drivers of consumer demand for foods offering health benefits.

This book is informative and accessible for students interested in food and nutrition policy, food economics, as well as socio-economic issues surrounding food and health. Academics and policymakers interested in food policy and regulation will benefit from the detailed analysis of the regulatory systems in a number of countries, and a comprehensive overview of key literature summarizing consumer attitudes toward health foods and health claims.
‘Regulating Health Foods is likely to be of much interest to food researchers and regulators, as well as to many members of the public. The focus on regulation and policy for health foods (functional food, supplements and nutraceuticals) is highly topical. The different regulatory policies for health foods that apply in a number of high income and emerging nations are outlined and compared. Using concepts from social sciences (economics in particular), implications of these different approaches for both consumers and businesses are identified and discussed. The book should be a very useful addition to the literature on health foods.’
– Michele Veeman, University of Alberta, Canada

‘The supply of foods marketed as healthy and functional is guided by both consumer demand and regulatory regimes. While many texts have attempted to document such drivers over the past decade or so, this volume provides a refreshing, concise yet comprehensive catalogue that includes trends in developed and emerging markets for health foods. Well resourced, including an annotated bibliography of many of the supporting studies summarized in the text, this book provides a good starting point for any researcher interested in understanding potential policy challenges and consumer conundrums.’
– Neal Hooker, The Ohio State University, US

‘Regulating Health Foods systematically organizes the widely disparate definitions, regulations and policies used internationally to govern functional foods, supplements and nutraceuticals, doing so from the standpoint of the industry and its regulators. Food scientists, regulators and industry professionals will especially appreciate its detailed international perspective.’
– Marion Nestle, New York University, US
Contents: Acknowledgements 1. Introduction 2. What are “Health Foods”? 3. Evolving Policy Issues and Regulatory Frameworks 4. Health Claim Regulations in Developed Markets 5. Health Claim Regulations in Emerging Markets 6. Industry and Market Trends 7. Consumer Responses to Health Foods 8. Through the Looking glass References Index