A Welcome Move Towards Transparent Labeling in the Beverage Industry

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26 Apr, 24 10:23
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A Welcome Move Towards Transparent Labeling in the Beverage Industry

The recent directive from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to e-commerce platforms regarding the reclassification of beverages such as Bournvita marks a significant step forward in ensuring transparency and protecting consumer welfare. This move, prompted by inquiries from the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, highlightsacrucial lacunainourregulatoryframework:theabsence ofacleardefinitionforwhat constitutesa'healthdrink'under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. Bournvita, a widely consumed beverage, found itself embroiled in controversy over its nutritional claims, particularly concerningits sugar content.Whileadjustmentswere made following public scrutiny, the broader issue of misleading labeling persistedwithintheindustry.The term 'health drink' has been liberally applied to various beverages , including those with high sugar content, posing significant health risks, especially for children. Excessive sugar consumption is associated with obesity, diabetes, and dental problems, highlighting the urgency of addressing misleading claims. The absence of stringent regulatory guidelines exacerbates this problem, leaving consumers susceptible to deceptive marketing tactics. The recent clarification by the Food Safety and StandardsAuthority of India (FSSAI), distinguishing dairy-, cereal-, or malt-based beverages from 'health' or 'energy' drinks, is a welcome development. It not onlyaddressesexistingambiguitiesbutalsoempowers consumers to make informed choices about their purchases. However, this directive should serve as a starting point for broader industry reforms. Stakeholders, including manufacturers, retailers, and e-commerce platforms, must collaborate to establish comprehensive standards for labeling and categorizing food products. Clear and accurate labeling is essential for consumer trust and public health protection. Regulators play a pivotal role in holding industry players accountable for adhering to these standards.By enforcingstrictlabelingregulations,regulators cansafeguardpublic health and ensure that consumers are not misled by false or exaggerated claims. As we move forward, it's imperative to prioritize consumer welfare and transparency in the food and beverage industry. Clear and accurate labeling benefits everyone: it empowers consumers to make healthier choices, fosters trust in the market, and ultimately contributes to a healthier society. The recent directive is a positive step in the right direction, but sustained efforts from all stakeholders are needed to build a more transparent and responsible food industry

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यह खबर निम्न श्रेणियों पर भी है: Editorial
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