The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’s (FSSAI) advertisement monitoring committee has flagged 32 fresh cases which have been found prima facie in contravention of the provisions of the norms.
In a release, the FSSAI said that food products scrutinised included health supplements, organic products, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) products, staples etc., and some of the advertisements made exaggerated claims.
As per the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards (Advertisements & Claims) Regulations, 2018, deceptive claims or advertisements are prohibited and can be punishable offences under Section 53 of the FSS Act, 2006.
The cases have referred to the concerned licensing authorities, directing that they ask the food business operators (FBO) to withdraw the misleading claims or scientifically substantiate the same. These authorities can issue notices seeking a response. In case of unsatisfactory response, the FBO is required to withdraw such claims or modify them as per the provisions of the Act. The FBO can be penalised with a fine extending up to Rs. 10 lakh, as per Section 53 of the FSS Act 2006, apart from other stringent punishments like suspension/cancellation of licence etc., in case of repeated offences.
The total number of such cases of reported misleading advertisements and claims during the last six months has gone up to 170.
The FSSAI has now advised all FBOs to strictly adhere to regulations and desist from making any unscientific and/or exaggerated claims and advertisements to promote their product sales.