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No Product Can Be Labeled ‘Pure’, ‘Fresh’ or ‘Natural’ Without FSSAI Permit

Neelansh Gupta

| Updated: Apr 26, 2019 | Category: FSSAI Food License

FSSAI Permit

We regularly see words like pure, natural, fresh, and authentic splashed across the television screens, newspapers and even large billboards next to products. But do these written words justify the genuineness of the food product? Are they natural and fresh is anyone’s guess. From July 1; food brands will have to obtain FSSAI Permit to use such words while unfolding products. They will also have to carry a disclaimer about the use of words under the latest FSSAI command.

FSSAI Permit

FSSAI Permit Requirement to use specific words

As per a notification issued by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), food businesses will not be able to use words or phrases like natural, fresh, original, traditional, authentic, genuine and real on food labels except under specific conditions.

FSSAI Permit

As per the notified regulations, food business operators cannot use the words/phrases such as

  • natural,
  • fresh,
  • original,
  • premium,
  • traditional,
  • finest,
  • best,
  • authentic,
  • genuine,
  • Real etc.

on the food labels until they obtain a food permit and except under specific conditions detailed below

FSSAI Permit

The regulations “Food Safety and Standards (Advertising and Claims) Regulations, 2018,” will speak about the claims and advertisements by Food Business Operators (FBOs) in regard to their food products. The regulations will take effect from July 1, 2019.

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FSSAI Permit

What’s more?

According to the regulations, such restrictions are mainly meant at limiting an open-ended use of these words/phrases by food businesses on frivolous grounds.

Further it states that the FBOs need to put a disclaimer when the trademark, brand name or fancy name containing adjectives such as “natural,” “fresh,” “pure,” “original,” “traditional,” “authentic,” “genuine,” “real,” and so on, appearing in the labeling, presentation or advertising of a food is such that it is likely to mislead consumer as to the nature of the food.

Purpose of introducing this notification

These regulations are expected at establishing

  • equality in claims and advertisements of food products and
  • make food businesses responsible for such claims or advertisements
  • Restricting an open-ended use of these words/phrases by food businesses on frivolous grounds.
  • To protect consumer interests

It is essential to mention here that many claims by the FBOs prove in flouting to the actual product offering and keeping because the mismatch the FSSAI has prescribed norms in various schedules of these regulations with related criteria, which shall guide the FBOs while dealing with claims and advertisements.

Advertisements in respect of a food product that can undermine the importance of healthy lifestyles or represent the food product as a complete substitute of regular meal are not permitted.

Further, food businesses are also prohibited from advertising or making a claim undermining the products of another manufacturer to promote their food products or influence consumer behavior.

Penal Consequences for violation

Any person who advertises or publish any misleading advertisement and also not complying with FSSAI Permit would be penalized with a fine extending up to Rs ten lakh, as per Section 53 of the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006.

Final Words

With this move, the regulator is gunning for more accountability among packaged food companies while protecting consumer interest. Given that Credit Suisse expects this market to grow to $200 billion in the next ten years, the FSSAI’s move is a much-needed one. Now, next time when you are out for shopping, remember to check the claims mentioned on the food packet and if it has got the FSSAI Permit. However, the new regulations seem a step forward in the right way as they allow state government officials to take action against the guilty food companies.

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Neelansh Gupta

Mr. Neelansh Gupta is a Legal Counsel having extensive in-depth knowledge of various laws. He has completed his graduation in law and has experience in IPR, Taxation and Corporate laws.

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