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FSSAI seeks action against animal ingredients products having green dot
Friday, 11 October, 2019, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Vijetha Iyer, Mumbai
FSSAI has sought a check and action against food products including nutraceuticals and health supplements, which in spite of containing gelatin shells or ingredients from animal origin, have been depicting green dot on their package labels and declaring the same as vegetarian product.

In this regard, the apex food regulator has written to Commissioners of Food Safety of all states and Union territories; authorised officers, FSSAI; and Central Licensing Authority FSSAI; urging an enforcement drive to keep check on the sale of such food products in their respective states and take appropriate action against the defaulting Food Business Operators (FBOs) as per the provisions laid down under FSS Act 2006, and Rules and Regulations made thereafter.

FSSAI has stated that such depiction of a green dot and declaration of the product as vegetarian was in contravention of Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labeling) Regulations, 2011, which mandate the applicability of veg/non-veg logo on the label of pre-packed food products and same shall be considered as misbranding and labelling defects.

The authority pointed out that all the food products falling under the category of nutraceuticals/ health supplements shall have to comply with the Food Safety and Standards (Health Supplements, Nutraceutical, Food for Special Dietary Use, Food for Special Medical Purpose, Functional Food and Novel Food) Regulations, 2016, as well as the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labeling) Regulations, 2011, failing which they will attract the penal provisions under FSS Act, 2006.

In order to overcome the issue, Swechha Soni, nutritionist, PFNDAI, stressed on separate symbol for such products. She said, “If there is green dot for both veg/ non-veg products it will confuse the consumers. Consumers hardly read the description these days. They don’t give much time to read the whole description of the product. Like fortification, wherein they give symbol for fortified food products, they can give additional symbol for this as well. So, it will be easier for consumers to buy the product.”
 
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