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FSSAI's draft norms on front-of-the-pack nutritional labelling to hit MSME packaged food firms: Trade body

FSSAI's draft norms on front-of-the-pack nutritional labelling to hit MSME packaged food firms: Trade body

FSSAI has also defined FOPNL, stating that it is a form of supplementary nutrition information that presents simplified nutrition information on the front-of-pack of pre-packaged foods.

FSSAI's draft norms on front-of-the-pack nutritional labelling to hit MSME packaged food firms: Trade body FSSAI's draft norms on front-of-the-pack nutritional labelling to hit MSME packaged food firms: Trade body

 Indian Sellers Collective, an umbrella body of trade associations and sellers across the country, has opposed the FSSAI's draft regulation on front-of-the-pack nutritional labelling (FOPNL), saying that it will badly affect the MSME packaged food industry.

In September, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had issued draft regulations for FOPNL for packaged food companies. It proposes to introduce the concept of five star ratings to provide information about the nutritional value of the products to consumers.

The regulator has sought comments from stakeholders on the regulations.

Indian Sellers Collective, in a statement, said the regulations would cause severe loss of business for MSME packaged food manufacturers and sellers, and open the floodgates for western packaged food to capture the Indian market.

The ethnic Indian foods will get classified as unhealthy if the proposed regulations come into effect, it said.

FSSAI has also defined FOPNL, stating that it is a form of supplementary nutrition information that presents simplified nutrition information on the front-of-pack of pre-packaged foods. It can include symbols/graphics, text or a combination thereof that provide information on the overall nutritional value of the food.

Abhay Raj Mishra, Member and National Coordinator, Indian Sellers Collective, said, "The proposed FOPNL guidelines in their current form will classify more than 85 per cent of Indian traditional food and snacks unhealthy. The proposed star ratings method is a copy and paste of voluntary guidelines issued in the western countries and not based on any scientific nutritional study of Indian foods."

Based in Delhi-NCR, Indian Sellers Collective's members and supporters include Public Response Against Helplessness and Action for Redressal (PRAHAR), Federation of All India Distributors Association (FAIDA), All India Consumer Products Distribution Federation (AICPDF), FMCG Distributors and Traders Association (FDTA), All India Mobile Retailers Association (AIMRA), All India Online Vendor Association (AIOVA), among others.

Shriram Baxi, General Secretary, FAIDA and Federation of Gujarat FMCG Distributors Associations (FGDA), said, "India is a very diverse country having a variety of local cuisines and recipes relevant to local climatic condition and it will be disastrous to judge them by a uniform rating system such as Health Star Rating (HSR). There are rituals, tradition and local tastes associated with Indian food which need to be respected."

If FOPNL is adopted, traditional Indian food products like dhokla, papad, gulab jamun, barfi, achar and chutney prepared with salt, fat and sugar contents for specific purposes like preservation and texture will also get discredited, he added.
 

Published on: Nov 10, 2022, 5:27 PM IST
Posted by: Tarab Zaidi, Nov 10, 2022, 5:11 PM IST
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