- March 6, 2023 / 7 min readThe star rating system is a type of symbol-based labelling that does not provide upfront information on the exact amount of salt, sugar, or fat content in written text. The rating is determined based on the levels of healthy and unhealthy nutrients.
The proposal by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to introduce health star ratings on the front of food packaging has faced opposition due to a lack of agreement among food companies, health organizations, consumer advocates, and the regulatory body.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) officials believe that health star ratings will not effectively reduce the consumption of unhealthy foods, and instead advocate for direct warning labels.
In contrast, packaged food companies prefer the use of star ratings. Currently, Indian food companies are only required to display basic nutrient information on the back of the packaging, while front-pack labeling has been proven effective in reducing the consumption of unhealthy foods globally.
Last year in September, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), which operates under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, published a draft regulation that proposed a labelling system based on star ratings. This was the largest labelling reform for packaged foods in India.
The FSSAI had requested feedback on the proposed star rating-based labelling system until November, and it was expected that the final guidelines would be released within two months after the comment period ended.
“The health star ratings misinform consumers and do not compel industry to make their food products healthier whereas a warning label provides instant recognition of unhealthy foods.” said Ashim Sanyal, chief executive of activist body Consumer Voice and former member of the Central Advisory Committee of FSSAI.
The star rating system is a type of symbol-based labelling that does not provide upfront information on the exact amount of salt, sugar, or fat content in written text.
The rating is determined based on the levels of healthy and unhealthy nutrients present, while direct warning labels will only indicate excessive levels of salt, sugar, or fats.Trending ArticleDaily UpdatesWhich is the highest format preference of Fun-Seeker?
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