FSSAI releases draft notification on star rating for packaged food

  • IASbaba
  • September 27, 2022
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In News: The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has issued a draft notification on front-of-package labelling, which proposes “Indian Nutrition Rating” (INR) modelled on the health star-rating system.

  • Requires packaged food to display the prescribed format of INR by assigning a rating from 1/2 star (least healthy) to five stars (healthiest).
  • The INR is to be calculated on the basis of the contribution of energy, saturated fat, total sugar, sodium, and the positive nutrients per 100 gm of solid food or 100 ml of liquid food.
  • The star assigned to a product “shall be displayed close in proximity to the name or brand name of the product on front of pack,” says the draft notification.
  • Certain food products such as milk and milk-based products, egg-based desserts, infant formula, salads and sandwich spreads and alcoholic beverages have been exempted.

Public health experts have been opposed to the health-star rating system

  • According to them, it gives a “health halo” because of its positive connotation making it harder to identify harmful products.
  • They instead recommend warning labels such as an octagonal “stop” symbol which global studies have shown is the only format that has led to a positive impact on food and beverage purchases forcing the industry
    • For example, in Chile, to reformulate their products and remove major amounts of sugar and salt.

About Food Safety and Standards Authority of India

  • It is an autonomous statutory body established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (FSS Act).
  • The Act aims to establish a single reference point for all matters relating to food safety and standards, by moving from multi- level, multi-departmental control to a single line of command.
  • Ministry: Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
  • It comprises a chairperson and twenty-two members out of which one – third are to be women. The Chairperson of FSSAI is appointed by the Central Government.
  • The primary responsibility for enforcement is largely with the State Food Safety Commissioners

Source:  The Hindu   

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