eCommerce websites told to remove Bournvita from health drink category

No standardization of health drink, says FSSAI

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Bournvita
Representative image. Wiki Commons

Bournvita which is widely consumed along with milk, will no longer be considered a healthy drink. The central government has sent a notice to all eCommerce companies ordering them to stop listing drinks and beverages under the health drinks category on their retail portals. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) had earlier written to the Commerce and Industry Ministry advising all eCommerce companies to remove drinks and beverages from the category.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has asked all eCommerce companies to remove all drinks and beverages, including Bournvita, from the category of health drinks from their retail portals. This comes after the FSSAI, on 2 April, asked all eCommerce companies to ensure appropriate categorization of products sold on their websites.

According to a India Today report, NCPCR, a statutory body 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 FSSAI and Mondelez India,’ the ministry said a notification.

FSSAI has clarified that the term ‘health drink’ is not defined or standardized anywhere under any act. Therefore, FSSAI has advised all eCommerce companies to promptly rectify this misclassification by removing or de-linking such drinks or beverages from the category of ‘health drinks/energy drinks’ on their websites and placing such products in the appropriate category as provided under the extant law, a statement said.

“Proprietary foods are items of food that are not standardized 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 standardized ingredients,” the statement added.

The corrective action aims to enhance clarity and transparency regarding the nature and functional properties of the products and ensure that consumers can make well-informed choices without encountering misleading information, the statement further said.

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