FSSAI to release traffic light food labeling rules for public consultation

INDIA – The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is set to release draft on food labelling regulations including traffic light labelling rules for public comments.

According to an agency official identified by FoodNavigator, the draft of the Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations, 2018 is still at the stakeholder-debate phase.

The new rules are looking to include red labels to products high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) as a way of encouraging healthier food choices among consumers.

The review of the regulations took place last year after FSSAI CEO Pawan Agarwal said that ‘industry stakeholders had expressed concerns around food safety and labeling.

Last August, a panel of experts from health and nutrition sectors was set up to review these proposed new food labelling rules.

The draft requires nutrient blocks for HFSS be colored in red if the fat, sugar or salt content exceeds the total recommended.

HFSS foods shall be coloured in red if energy values from sugar were over 10% of the total energy from 100g/100ml of the product, energy from trans fats is over 1% of the total, and total fat or sodium content goes over specified threshold values.

“The food authority may introduce colour coding system in addition to marking of foods as ‘Red’ within the specified thresholds from time to time,” said FSSAI.

The red labelling would be applied in the actual nutritional information blocks of the food product, according to FSSAI.

These would be placed on the front-of-pack and comprise caloric, fat, trans fat, total sugar and salt content, as well as the per serve percentage (%) contributions to Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA).

These are some of the steps FSSAI is taking to streamline India’s food industry while protecting the final consumer.

In January, it announced new packaging and labeling requirements for plastics, glass, paper, metal, printing inks.

The regulations set to be effective beginning 1 July 2019, defines the overall migration and specific migration limits of contaminants for packaging materials.

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