Home Tax News Remove Bournvita from ‘health drinks’ section: Govt to e-commerce websites

Remove Bournvita from ‘health drinks’ section: Govt to e-commerce websites

Remove Bournvita from ‘health drinks’ section: Govt to e-commerce websites

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has asked e-commerce platforms to remove all drinks and beverages, including Bournvita, from the ‘healthy drinks’ category, according to a report in the Moneycontrol.

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) said that there is no “health drink defined under the FSS Act 2006, rules and regulations as submitted by FSSAl & Mondelez India”.

The Moneycontrol reported that a notification, issued by the ministry on April 10, stated: “NCPCR, a statutory body constituted under Section (3) of the Commission for Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act, 2005 after its inquiry under Section 14 of CPCR Act, 2005, concluded that there is no health drink defined under FSS Act 2006, rules and regulations as submitted by FSSAl and Mondelez India Food Pvt Ltd.”

The notification further stated that “all e-commerce companies/ portals are hereby advised to remove drink/ beverages, including Bournvita from the category of ‘health drinks’ from their sites/platforms.”

Earlier this month, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) directed e-commerce platforms to ensure the proper categorisation of food products sold on their websites. The government body instructed these companies not to put dairy, cereal, or malt-based beverages under the ‘health drink’ or ‘energy drink’ categories, according to the Moneycontrol report.

The FSSAI said that the term ‘health drink’ lacks definition within the food laws in India, while ‘energy drinks’ are just flavoured water-based beverages under these laws. Additionally, the FSSAI emphasised that the misuse of terminology could mislead consumers and consequently instructed websites to either remove or correct the advertisements.

According to a report in India Today, the FSSAI, in a statement, said, “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 statutory body further said that the objective of this corrective measure is to improve clarity and transparency regarding the characteristics and functional attributes of the products. It said that this ensures that consumers can make informed decisions without being exposed to misleading information.

Last month, NCPCR chief Priyank Kanoongo wrote to the commerce ministry, the FSSAI, and the Department of Consumer Affairs of various state governments and Union Territories last month, stating that drink beverages, including Bournvita, should not be sold under the ‘health drink’ category.

First Published: Apr 13 2024 | 4:04 PM IST


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