No product will be 'fresh', 'pure' or 'natural' without permission

Updated: Mar 26, 2019, 19:29 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty

FSSAI has made it mandatory for brands to either procure permission to use such words, or carry a disclaimer about them

No product will be 'fresh', 'pure' or 'natural' without permission

To grab the attention of customers, companies often use labels like 'natural', 'pure', 'authentic', etc. But come July 1, the use of such words on products will cost manufacturers Rs 10 lakh in fines. It has now been made mandatory for brands to either get permission to use such words, or carry a disclaimer about them on the product. There are several products that carry such words, but as per the new rule of FSSAI, their usage without permission could land the manufacturer in trouble.

"Customers are generally attracted to words like 'genuine,' 'original,' etc on food products. When a company uses the word 'real,' for a food product for instance, it implies that it is the only real/original product, which is in violation of the advertisement act of FSSAI. This creates a false perception of a product for customers," said an official from FSSAI.

The circular issued by the apex food regulating body, states that where the meaning of a trade mark, brand name, or fancy word containing adjectives such as natural; fresh, pure etc appears in the labeling, presentation, or advertising of a food product in a way that is likely to mislead the consumer about the nature of the food, a disclaimer not less than 3mm in size shall be given in an appropriate place on the product. It should state 'This is only a brand name or trade mark and doesn't represent its true nature.'

High fine

"It is strictly prohibited under the FSSAI Act to promote any food product by undermining the products of other manufacturers. Any claim regarding the criteria, health, dietary guidance that demeans other products through advertisements is a violation of the Food Safety and Standards (Advertising and Claims) Regulations," said Pawan Agarwal, CEO of FSSAI. The new rule about this will come into effect from July 1. Any violation of it will lead to a penalty up to R10 lakh under the Act.

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