FSSAI responds to health claims made by food business operators

FSSAI has set up a dedicated Advertisement Monitoring Committee that scrutinises advertisements and claims made by FBOs

After making a note of media reports about health claims made by Food Business Operators (FBOs) in the country, and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has reiterated its mandate to lay down science-based standards and regulate Food Product Advertising and Claims.

FSSAI has notified the Food Safety and Standards (Advertisements & Claims) Regulations, 2018 to regulate claims and advertisements by FBOs, and any false or exaggerated health claim is a punishable offense under Section-53 of FSS Act, 2006.

Every claim, including nutrient-based claims, must meet the criteria stipulated in the regulations, and any functional claims made on food products must be based on current and relevant scientific evidence.

FBOs must comply with the regulations, and Licensing cum Designated Officers at the central and state levels can call upon FBOs to submit scientific evidence for health claims. Failure to comply can result in penalties and other punitive measures.

Penalty as per Section 49-67 of the FSSA Act for Misleading Advertisement or False Description of natureor quality of food can be upto Rs 10 lakh.

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