fssai: Experts: FSSAI ‘health stars’ on food packaging will ‘fool’ people | India News

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’s (FSSAI) plan to label ultra-processed foods with ‘health stars’ led 22 public health and consumer organizations on Wednesday to question the justification for labeling ultra-processed foods with ‘health stars’. a rating system that they claim would “mislead and confuse consumers”. rather than clarifying the nutritional value.
Health star rating is a front-of-package labeling system that assigns a half star to five stars to indicate the nutrient profile of packaged foods. More stars indicate a healthier profile. The processed food industry supports such ratings, but public health and consumer groups want mandatory warning labels on the packaging of unhealthy ultra-processed food products high in salt, sugar or fat.
Dr Srinath Reddy of the Public Health Foundation of India said star ratings can be misleading because they don’t make it clear to consumers whether the rating is for specific constituents, taste or shelf life. He said the request made to the FSSAI to adopt warning labels was entirely appropriate and in the public interest. The Indian Academy of Pediatrics, the largest association of pediatricians with 35,000 members across India, has endorsed warning labels on packaged foods. “The food industry might like stars on unhealthy food products, but we think warning labels should be used because that’s what the scientific evidence tells us,” said Dr Remesh Kumar, director of the ‘organization.
Referring to the FSSAI’s announcement that it would move forward with health star ratings in its proposed food packaging labeling regulations, Vandana Prasad, a pediatrician working with the Public Health Resource Network, said pointed out that there was stronger evidence that warning labels can impact consumer behavior. towards healthier diets.

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