CEO, Equinox Labs
What are the highlights of Claims and Labeling?
The Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011 and Regulations on Labelling (claims), December 27, 2012 has stated the different claims that a label can have on it. Conditions for using specific words or phrases as part of claims/Brand or Fancy name/Trademark and List of Nutritional claims including nutrient comparative claims is also stated in Regulations on Labelling (claims). Examples of some of the comprehensive nutrient claims and use of specific words/phrases that are stated are: low/reduced energy, energy free, low fat, fat free, low cholesterol, low saturated fat, trans fat free, rich in MUFA and natural, pure, fresh, traditional, original respectively. It is the duty of the Food Business Operators (FBOs) to follow the various claims and regulations depending upon the kind of product that they are dealing.
Are Claims and Labelling still a problem for the industry?
The Regulations on Labelling (claims) have mentioned general requirements as well as product specified requirements for packaging. A regulation on Labelling (claims), also consists of information regarding the different kinds of claims that can be mentioned on the label. Conditions for using specific words or phrases as part of claims/Brand or Fancy name/Trademark and List of Nutritional claims including nutrient comparative claims has been mentioned in Regulations on Labelling (claims). If, followed appropriately by the FBOs then claims and labelling should not turn out to be a problem for them.
If there is no clarity, what are the issues that need to be addressed?
The Regulations on Labelling (claims), have mentioned the different kinds of claims that a label can have. It is the duty of the manufacturer to see to it that he has proper documents supporting the claims that are stated on the label. The claims that are mentioned are comprehensive and it is the duty of the FBOs to follow the claims according to their products.
What problems importers are facing on this issue and how that could be resolved?
The manufacturers are responsible for putting the claims on the labels. It is the duty of the manufacturer to see to it that he has proper substantial documents supporting the claims. If the importer has proper documents as evidence for his claims, then the importer would not face any difficulty while importing such products.
What should a label consist of?
1. Name and the category of the product; 2. Vegetarian/Non-vegetarian logo; 3. Net weight/ Net quantity; 4. List of ingredients; 5. Nutritional information; 6. Name and complete address of the manufacturer, importer, packer, marketer; 7. Instructions for using the product; 8. Storage instructions for the product; 9. Batch/lot/Code number; 10. Date of manufacturer; 11. Best before date/ Use by date; 12. Maximum Retail Price (MRP); 13. Consumer/ Customer care details; 14. If the product is imported, it should have the country of origin; 15. New FSSAI logo.