In Finland, the authorities have determined that "The heart symbol – a better choice" symbol granted by the Finnish Heart Association and Finnish Diabetes Association is a nutrition claim referred to in Article 2 of the Claims Regulation; it states, suggests or implies that a food has particular beneficial nutritional properties. The purpose of the symbol is to promote public health by making it easier to choose a healthy diet.
The impetus for building the symbol label system stems from the major nutritional problems related to the health of Finnish people. The symbol is not associated only with cardiac health. Products bearing "The heart symbol – a better choice" symbol are better choices in terms of fat and salt intake. The authorities have been involved in the development of the symbol and its criteria. The symbol is also referred to in the consumer brochure of nutritional recommendations published by the National Nutrition Council (Ravinto ja liikunta tasapainoon (Integrating Nutrition and Physical Activity), 2006).
Article 28(4)(a) of the Claims Regulation required that Member States communicate to the Commission, by 31 January 2008 at the latest, any nutrition claims in the form of pictorial, graphic or symbolic representation and the national provisions or rules applied to them. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry submitted material concerning "The heart symbol – a better choice" to the Commission within the prescribed period. As a result, the symbol may be used, although it is not included in the authorised nutrition claims listed in the Annex to the Claims Regulation.