Limit use of 'fancy adjectives' on labels, ads: FSSAI to food companies
New Delhi, December 15, 2022
FSSAI said that if these 'fancy' adjectives are 'likely to mislead the consumer as to the nature of the food', the companies must put up a disclaimer on the front of the pack
Food manufacturers in India have been asked to limit the usage of "fancy name containing adjectives" on food labels, brand names and in advertisements. These words include "natural", "fresh", "pure", "original", "traditional", "authentic", "genuine", and "real".
The recent notification released by the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) said that if these adjectives are "likely to mislead the consumer as to the nature of the food", the companies must put up a disclaimer on the front of the pack.
The disclaimer should read, "This is only a brand name or trademark, or fancy name and does not represent its true nature," FSSAI said.
Also, the font size of the disclaimer shall not be less than 1.5 mm for the principal display panel up to 100 square cm, not less than 2 mm for the principal display panel between 100-200 square cm and not less than 3 mm in case of principal display panel above 200 square cm.
The new regulations, the Food Safety and Standards (Advertising and Claims) Second Amendment Regulations, 2022, came into effect on December 13. They are aimed at holding businesses accountable for the advertisements and claims on the labels and protect the customers.
FSSAI also issued guidelines for declaring the nutrients in food.
"The equivalence claims in the form of phrases such as "contains the same amount of [nutrient] as a [food]" and "as much [nutrient] as a [food]" may be used on the label or in the labelling of foods, provided that the amount of the nutrient in the reference food is enough to qualify that food as a "source" of that nutrient, and the labelled food, on per 100 g or 100 ml, is an equivalent source of that nutrient, or where the food nutrient is at the same level as the naturally occurring reference food nutrient, the same shall be indicated on the label and through nutritional information (e.g., "as much fibre as an apple," and "contains the same amount of vitamin C as ... glass of orange juice.")," it said.
The food companies can send changes and clarifications to the FSSAI within 30 days for final approval.
[The Business Standard]