India

Regulator to take first step to introduce junk food warning labels

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock
© iStock

Related tags: Junk food, Nutrition

India’s food regulator is expected to have formed a definition for “junk food” in the next two months, giving scope for possible new mandatory nutrition warnings for potato chips and samosas.

The FSSAI wants to make a clear distinction between healthy food and unhealthy food, said its chief executive, Pawan Kumar Agarwal.

We are trying to define junk food based on the proportion of salt, sugar and fat content… The calculations are based on the Indian diet chart and recommended diet as well as international standards​,” Agarwal said.

A decision by the regulator on a definition would pave the way for India to become one of the only countries to legislate for a junk food label.

It is expected that a decision on the definition and whether to introduce warning labels will be made in the next 60 days.

India needs a definition because no guidelines for junk food exist, and the term was not listed under the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006. Last year the FSSAI announced that it would begin drawing guidelines for “making available wholesome, nutritious, safe and hygienic food to school children​”.

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