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FSSAI tells e-commerce firms to stop misuse of ‘Health Drink’ tag to push sales

New Delhi, April 2, 2024
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has asked all e-commerce food business operators to ensure appropriate categorisation of food products being sold on their websites and not misuse terms such as Health Drink and Energy Drink to push sales.

FSSAI has noted instances of food products licensed under ‘Proprietary Food’ with the nearest category – Dairy Based Beverage Mix or Cereal Based Beverage Mix or Malt Based Beverage – being sold on e-commerce websites under the category ‘Health Drink’, ‘Energy Drink’ etc.

FSSAI has clarified that the term ‘Health Drink’ is not defined or standardised anywhere under the FSS Act 2006 or the rules.

Therefore, the regulator has advised all e-commerce food business operators (FBOs) to promptly rectify this misclassification by removing or de-linking such drinks or beverages from the category of ‘Health Drinks/Energy Drinks’ on their websites and place such products in the appropriate category as provided under the existing law, according to an official statement.

“This corrective action aims to enhance clarity and transparency regarding the nature and functional properties of the products, ensuring that consumers can make well-informed choices without encountering misleading information,” the official statement explained.

Proprietary Foods are items of food that are not standardised in Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulations and Food Safety and Standards (Health Supplements, Nutraceuticals, Food for Special Dietary Use, Food for Special Medical Purpose, Functional Food, and Novel Food) Regulations but use standardised ingredients.

The term – ‘Energy’ Drinks – is permitted to be used only on the products licensed under Food Category System (FCS) 14.1.4.1 and 14.1.4.2 (Carbonated and Non-carbonated water-based flavoured drinks), standardised under sub-regulation 2.10.6 (2) of Food Product Standards and Food Additives Regulations 2011 (Caffeinated Beverage), FSSAI has explained.(Agency)

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