Nutrition & health claims, the sanOil brand from San Carlo


Themarket survey on

palm oil

and junk food

reveals new shades of deception. The case of potato chips

St. Charles with ‘


, mix of vegetable oils with palm that seems to have nothing at all ‘healthy’ about it. Our report to theASL and to the Antitrust Authority.

‘Nutrition & Health Claims.

, the rules in the EU

The ‘
Nutrition & Health Claims’
(NHC) introduced a general and harmonized regulation of the use of nutrition and health claims in commercial food information. (1) Any voluntary information that may even implicitly suggest the nutritional properties of a food (or
of an ingredient) or the link between its consumption and a health benefit must be subject to the rules under consideration. In particular:

nutrition claim

. The nutritional claims allowed are only those listed in Annex to EC Regulation 1924/06, under the conditions stipulated therein. The following are cited as examples of permissible claims on so-called ‘good fats,

– health claim. The only health claims allowed on food labels and advertisements are those authorized by the European Commission in agreement with member states, following appropriate Efsa opinions. (2) See for example the virtues allowed on foods that contain iron.

A Brand
, trade name or fancy name appearing on the labeling, presentation, or advertising of a foodstuff that may be construed as a nutrition or health claim may be used without being subject to the authorization procedures set forth in this Regulation provided that the labeling, presentation, or advertising also bears a corresponding nutrition or health claim that complies with the provisions of this Regulation‘ (EC Reg. 1924/06, Article 1.3). (3)

‘Nutrition & Health Claims.

, the sanctions

Administrative penalties specifications for violations of the above rules were introduced in Italy on 1.4.17. (4) Better late than never, more than 10 years after the NHC regulation came into effect (Nutrition & Health Claims). Over the years, a number of unfair business practices have been sanctioned by the AGCM (Antitrust Authority).

The situation in Italy Is to this day critical. In fact, serious violations of existing rules are found even on branded products of large groups, in industry and in large-scale retail outlets (as noted in a recent market survey on dried fruit). As well as on semi-finished products and products circulating through different channels. Pharmacies, parapharmacies, pyramid sales and ecommerce.

Our country seems to be a ‘no man’s land,’ where the risks of litigation are still considered laughable compared to the undue profits that are instead being pursued through illicit and fraudulent labels. To the detriment of consumAtors, under the silence of the Ministry of Health and the ASLs (on which falls the competence to supervise the implementation of the NHC regulation, as required by Legislative Decree 27/17).


, the brand name on San Carlo potato chips

‘sanOil, a careful selection of excellent quality vegetable oils’ is the wording that appears on several packages of San Carlo potato chips. The lowercase character of the first letter – ‘
‘ as ‘
‘ and not ‘
‘ as in ‘
Saint Charles
‘ – clears the field of wild theories about the hypothetical assonance of the marks, which by the way have quite distinct graphics. And the word ‘
‘, ironically, appears inches away from ‘
‘, on the left column of the back label, referring to a ‘
‘. (5)

[masterslider id=”156″]


The brand ‘
‘ appears to have been registered by San Carlo Gruppo Alimentare SpA on 14.7.09. Therefore, the transitional exemption from the application of the regulation to NHC, which was granted in favor of trademarks existing before 1.1.05, does not seem to be applicable. (6) However, 10 years have elapsed since its continued use (as it would otherwise have lapsed), which continues on food products not bearing or even worthy of any nutritional or health claims.

10 years of deception Of consumers? So it would seem. We forward this article to the relevant authorities for proper investigation after a long hibernation. Spring is on its way, who knows maybe some buds of entitlement will finally bloom. Always waiting for the Brussels Sleepyhead to adopt the equally dutiful nutritional profiles.

Dario Dongo


(1) See reg. EC 1924/06

(2) See reg. EU 432/12 as amended

(3) A 15-year exemption, to expire on 19.1.22, was also granted to trademarks that existed before 1.1.05. See the article

(4) V. d.lgs. 27/17. Brief review of

, comments on


For further study, reference is made to our free ebook ‘1169 penis. Reg. EU 1169/11, food news, controls and penalties’, at

(5) And it is so ‘healthy and balanced’, the lifestyle promoted by St. Charles, that the ‘More Taste’ potato chip is presented as ‘ideal with Spritz‘. An unprecedented preview of the Cra-Nut Guidelines?

(6) See footnote 3 above

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Dario Dongo, lawyer and journalist, PhD in international food law, founder of WIISE (FARE - GIFT - Food Times) and Égalité.