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POLICY & REGULATIONS

FSSAI shelves new labelling norms after stiff resistance from industry
Tuesday, 10 September, 2019, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Ashwani Maindola, New Delhi
The new labelling norms that were under consideration of FSSAI have been shelved as they met with stiff resistance from the industry.

According to a senior functionary with the country’s apex food regulator, the matter has now again been referred to the scientific committee looking into the subject of labelling and efforts will be for making it more considerate.

A reassessment on the implementablity of the labelling norms in the FSSAI led the apex regulator to consider a gradual approach on the subject.

Sources stated that the regulator has started considering threshold limits for individual ingredients (salt, sugar and fat) which has been a bone of contention between the industry and the regulator for quite some time.

They added that it will conduct a study into the subject of consumption pattern, and a target will be set in consultation with the industry. It will try and convince the industry to lower the amount of sugar, salt and fat in the food products later.

This approach is in line with the one adopted by the FSSAI in limiting the trans-fats in the food products, first setting a target and then bringing all the stakeholders on board.

The industry sources stated that the stakeholders needed to ensure that there were no scientific shortcomings in the regulations and they could be implementable.
According the FSSAI, its new labelling and display regulations were ready for draft notification in June earlier this year, and were meant to supersede the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011.

These regulations proposed to make it mandatory to display red colour-coding on front-of-the-pack labels on packaged food products that have high-fat, high-sugar and high-salt content levels, and this requirement would be implemented in a phased manner for a period of three years.

This provision was strictly challenged by the industry.
 
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