The government has put on hold the draft that proposes red-labeling of packaged food products containing high levels of fat, sugar, and salt. In April, food safety regulator FSSAI had come out with the draft of Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations 2018 that propose mandatory red-label marking on such packaged food products.
Food labeling regulations have remained a contentious issue in the packaged food industry, which sees them as an impediment to sales. Agarwal said the panel will study in detail the concerns of the industry and make recommendations.
Pitching for strong labeling norms at the earliest, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India CEO said it is difficult to ask consumers to change their eating habits. “We can make a dent if we can address it at the supply side by asking companies to adhere to labeling norms,” he added.
Agarwal also made it clear that FSSAI will go ahead with the labeling norms even if there is no consensus on the matter after the panel’s suggestions.