FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) has reported 32 fresh cases of misleading claims and advertisements made by Food Business Operators (FBOs) on their products. The claims made by the FBOs are found to be prima facie in contravention of the provisions of Food Safety and Standards (Advertisements & Claims) Regulations, 2018. The range of food products scrutinized includes health supplements, organic products, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) products, staples, and more.
The FSSAI’s Advertisement Monitoring Committee has identified various health claims and product claims made by FBOs, including manufacturers and/or marketers of nutraceutical products, refined oils, pulses, flours, millet products, ghee, etc. The deceptive claims or advertisements are prohibited under the provisions of Food Safety and Standards (Advertisements & Claims) Regulations, 2018 and are punishable offences under Section-53 of FSS Act, 2006.
The FSSAI has referred these cases to the concerned Licensing Authorities for the issuance of notices to all such FBOs for withdrawing the misleading claims or scientifically substantiating the same. The FBOs are required to withdraw such claims or modify them as per the provisions of the said Regulations failing which they can be penalized with a fine extending up to Rs. Ten lakhs, as per Section-53 of the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006, apart from other stringent punishments like suspension/cancellation of license, etc. in case of repeated offenses.
The total number of reported cases of misleading advertisements and claims during the last six months has gone up to 170 cases. The FSSAI has taken strict action against the delinquent FBOs in the past and will continue to do so in the future to ensure that they adhere to the provisions of Food Safety and Standards (Advertisements & Claims) Regulations, 2018.
All FBOs are advised to strictly adhere to the provisions of Food Safety and Standards (Advertisements & Claims) Regulations, 2018, and refrain from making any unscientific and/or exaggerated claims and advertisements to promote their product sales. This will help them avoid enforcement actions and ensure the larger consumer interest.
The FSSAI has been working tirelessly to ensure that consumers are not misled by false or exaggerated claims made by FBOs on their products. They have been conducting regular inspections and surveys to monitor the quality of food products being sold in the market. The FSSAI has also been conducting awareness campaigns to educate consumers on how to identify misleading claims and advertisements made by FBOs.
The FSSAI has set up a robust complaint redressal system to address consumer grievances related to food products. Consumers can lodge their complaints through the FSSAI website or the Food Safety Connect App, which is available on both Android and iOS platforms. The FSSAI has also set up a toll-free number (1800112100) where consumers can register their complaints.
In recent years, there has been a growing concern among consumers about the safety and quality of food products being sold in the market. The FSSAI has been playing a crucial role in ensuring that consumers have access to safe and quality food products. They have been working closely with FBOs to ensure that they adhere to the regulations and maintain the highest standards of food safety and hygiene.
The FSSAI has also been promoting the use of technology to improve food safety and quality. They have developed a Food Safety Compliance System (FoSCoS), which is an online platform for food businesses to apply for licenses, registrations, and approvals. FoSCoS has streamlined the entire process, making it easier for FBOs to comply with the regulations.
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