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Health claim regulation for public health: individual choice or libertarian paternalism?

Dec 29, 2020

We present an interpretation of the debate that is currently ongoing in the field of health claim regulation with respect to public health and standards of proof. Health claims are scientifically validated statements regarding the health benefits that a food may confer upon its consumers. We argue that the methodological debates in health claim regulation conceal a very different debate, related to the locus of decision making: individual consumers or (at least partially) regulators. Our analysis reveals two opposing stances: one which on our interpretation is compatible with libertarian paternalism, and the other focused on individual choice on the basis of sound science.

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