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FSSAI decides to delink front-of-pack labelling norms from general ones
Wednesday, 18 December, 2019, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Ashwani Maindola, New Delhi
FSSAI, the country’s apex food regulator, has decided to delink the front-of-pack labelling regulations from the general labelling requirements.

“The two subjects will now be looked upon separately by the expert panel of FSSAI,” said Pawan Kumar Agarwal, chief executive officer, FSSAI.

“In the authority meeting, we discussed at length on labelling regulations. Apart fromfront-of-pack labelling, other issues which are very substantive and, in fact, much larger, were related to other labelling requirements,” he added.

“So the authority has decided that front-of-pack and general labelling regulations should be delinked, and that the two can move at their own pace,” Agarwal said.

The front-of-pack labelling requirement is largely related to the declaration of the threshold of salt, sugar and fat and its depiction. FSSAI will look into the subject of thresholds needed to be defined across the food categories.

Agarwal stated that the main issue regarding front-of-pack labelling was about getting thresholds that were relevant to Indian conditions, in place of adopting any other country- or region-specific threshold.

“The threshold should be an India-relevant threshold,” he added, stating that a study into the defining threshold was going on, which would provide the threshold limit of the fat, sugar and salt in the food products.

The CEO added, “The front-of-pack labelling has two aspects. One is the threshold, and the other would be how we would depict it on the label, what shall be the symbol/figure and configuration.”

“So simultaneously t,he work will go on, and as soon as we get thresholds, we will take a view on that and notify it,” he said.

FSSAI is expecting that the regulations on general labelling will be notified first, followed by the front-of-pack labelling norms. Agarwal said that the FSSAI was open to suggestions on the subject.
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