Nestlé Under FSSAI Scrutiny Over High Sugar Content in Baby Food

The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has asked the Food Safety And Standards Authority Of India (FSSAI) to probe recent claims of Nestle adding sugar to baby products sold in the country.

The consumer watchdog’s direction comes after a report revealed that the world’s largest consumer goods and manufacturer of baby formula adds sugar to infant milk sold in India as well as other Asian and African countries.

“We have written to the FSSAI to take cognizance of the report on Nestle’s baby product,” consumer affairs secretary and the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) chief Nidhi Khare told news agency PTI.

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has also taken note of the report and issued a notice to the FSSAI.

According to the report from Public Eye, a Swiss investigative organisation, Nestle added sugar in the form of sucrose or honey in samples of Nido, a follow-up milk formula brand intended for use for infants aged one and above, and Cerelac, a cereal aimed at children aged between six months and two years.

The revelation comes after the organisation sent samples of the Swiss multinational’s baby-food products sold in Asia, Africa and Latin America to a Belgian laboratory for testing.

The report highlighted that in India, where sales surpassed $250 million in 2022, all Cerelac baby cereals contain added sugar, on average nearly 3 grams per serving.

However, Nestlé India told Moneycontrol that it has reduced its added sugar content by almost 30 percent in its infant cereals portfolio (cereal-based food which is consumed by infants along with milk) over the last five years.

Responding to a query from Moneycontrol, a company spokesperson said, “We regularly evaluate our portfolio and consistently innovate and reformulate our products to further diminish the level of added sugars while maintaining quality, safety, and flavor.”

Presently, Nestlé’s products in India display 7 grams of sugar per 100 grams, as indicated by the nutritional label.

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