The sportsmen and women among us often carry Dextro Energy: the glucose tablets are known to make a contribution to the muscles. The EFSA has also scientifically acknowledged this; the EFSA has given the green light to five health claims for glucose submitted by Dextro GmbH. The next step is approval of the claims by the European Commission, virtually always a breeze. Not this time. That is why Dextro applied to the European courts. The curtain has now fallen definitively, with the judgment of the Court of Justice of 8 June 2017. The argument of the European Commission and the General Court remains unchanged. That glucose is beneficial for the muscles (and for a good metabolism and more) is not at issue. But allowing these health claims for glucose would be contrary to the generally held principle – which is held internationally as well – that consumers should moderate their sugar intake due to the verifiable negative effects that excessive sugar consumption has on one's health. This will confuse the consumer: glucose is beneficial for energy management contradicts the comprehensive campaigns to reduce the number of sugar cubes in the daily diet. The General Court found that the European Commission should take a broad view when approving the claims: not simply go on the scientifically verifiable causal link that EFSA is testing, but also look at political and social aspects. This is all in the interests of consumer protection. After all, the whole principle of the Claims Regulation is that the consumer should not be misled. Playing a role in the decision was the fact that allowing the glucose claims sought by Dextro would mean that the beneficial effects of glucose might be used by any company that puts glucose in its products. Restrictive conditions, e.g. that the beneficial effect only applies to people who do intensive exercise, do not help, the rulings show. It is understandable that all considerations play a role, but there is still friction because for sportsmen and women a Dextro tablet does have a beneficial effect, and that's hard for Dextro Energy to swallow!
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