The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has released draft notification for front-of-pack labelling to discourage consumers from buying packaged food high in sugar, salt, and fat.
- The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has released draft notification for front-of-pack labelling to discourage consumers from buying packaged food high in sugar, salt, and fat.
- As per the draft notification, it will be mandatory for packaged foods to carry a star graphic next to the brand name.
- Like the star-rating system for energy efficiency of electronic products, the ‘Indian Nutrition Rating (INR)’ will see the unhealthiest food items carry a low rating and the healthiest carry a high rating.
About Indian Nutrition Rating (INR) System –
- The INR system rates the overall nutritional profile for packaged food by assigning it a rating from ½ star (least healthy) to 5 stars (healthiest).
- More stars indicate the food product is better positioned to provide for daily human need of nutrients.
- As per the notification, solid food with a score of more than 25 will be given 0.5 stars, and those with a score less than – (minus) 11 will get 5 stars.
- To generate the star-rating logo for the product, food businesses have to submit nutritional profiles of the products concerned on FSSAI’s portal.
What is Front of Packaging Labelling (FoPL)?
- The excessive consumption of sugars, fats and sodium is a public health problem that is associated with the non-communicable diseases that most affect the population.
- Non-communicable diseases include overweight or obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and vascular, heart and brain diseases and kidney.
- The excess intake of these nutrients has been driven largely by the widespread availability, affordability, and promotion of processed and ultra-processed food products.
- Front-of-package warning labelling is a simple, practical and effective tool to inform the public about products that can harm health and help guide purchasing decisions.
- In India, FoPL on packaged foods was recommended in 2014 by an expert committee constituted by the FSSAI.
About FSSAI –
- The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is an autonomous body established under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
- It was set up in 2008 for the proper monitoring of food hygiene and quality in India. It was functional from 2011 and ever since has been responsible for managing food safety in our country.
- The organisation has been set up as per the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006, until which different acts and laws were being administered under the various ministries of Government.
- It is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of food safety.
- It is headed by a non-executive Chairperson, appointed by the Central Government, either holding or has held the position of not below the rank of Secretary to the Government of India.