Consumer organisations have demanded an immediate notification of a long-pending regulation on ‘front of the package labelling (FoPL)’ in the interest of public health.

This is one of the eight point charter of demands which the Consumer Coordination Council (CCC) of India as well as Consumer Protection Association, Agartala plan to submit to the food safety regulator FSSAI. CUTS International facilitated a session on FoFL.

In a statement, CUTS International Director George Cheriyan said the Food Standards and Safety Authority of India (FSSAI) has already spent a number of years discussing and consulting stakeholders, it is high time to move fast without any further delay and come out with a strong regulation.

Most of the countries have started to reap the benefits from positive consumer behaviour since the implementation of the FoPL. It has helped those governments to save money from direct and indirect healthcare costs, he said.

“A regulation for a strong, simple, mandatory FoPL without any further delay is a must,” he noted.

In India, FoPL was first recommended in 2014 by an expert committee constituted by FSSAI in 2013. After years of consultations, in May 2018, the regulator published a draft Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations, 2018.

In 2019, the FSSAI issued draft notification Food Safety Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations. In 2019 December, the FSSAI delinked FoPL from general labelling regulations. Thus, the country is yet to bring in some regulation regarding FoPL, though some active discussions are happening over time.

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By William Regal

Used to think I was a tad indecisive, but now I’m not quite sure.

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