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South Korea - Solution for the Problems Raised From the System to Allow the Function Claims to the General Foods With Respects to Consumer Protection and Food Industry Development

South Korea

Apr 19, 2022

In 2004, “The Health Functional Food Act” was enacted, in which Health Functional Food (HFF) is defined as the food that is allowed for function claims which should be approved by the government committee through a prior review based upon the experimentally proven functions of ingredient(s) or a mixture of raw material(s). Thus, the HFF is a food stipulated by the act. The purposes of this act are to promote the public health by providing the foods with proven beneficial functions to consumers, to upgrade the food science through stimulating research and to develop the HFF industry by protecting the developer’s right on the developed products. Even in the presence of “The Health Functional Food Act”, a system (or a regulation) was introduced in 2019, in which function claims were allowed on the general foods such as beverages, confectionery and milk products if they contain one or more of 29 “ingredients or element notified as HFF (such as vitamins, minerals, ginseng, propolis extracts etc.). The purposes of this system are to widen the range of consumer’s choices by increasing the numbers and kinds of foods with functional ingredients or elements and to contribute to the development of food industry since the consumers are induced to consume more foods if they contain functional ingredients or elements and claim the functions. 

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