Food regulators’ star rating plan disturbing health experts

Food regulators’ star rating plan disturbing health experts

Public health experts and consumers’ rights organizations are concerned regarding the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India implementing the star ratings to indicate the healthiness of the packaged food. FSSAI meeting has concluded the system will not only draft regulations but will be proposed to be voluntary for the first four years.

Few countries have already adopted the rating stars on the FoPL. Those countries have included the practices and have experienced an immense impact on health. At least 28% of the population has experienced the improvement and hence decided to implement it.

Similarly, in India, the FSSAI is deciding to implement the star rating to ensure the consumers are provided with the right information. People now are concerned about their health and want to know the details of the product. Unless, the rating and other details are clearly mentioned, knowing whether the product is safe for consumption or not cannot be decided. While few people just wish to have star ratings, the remaining prefer warning labels to educate the people and create awareness.

Star rating and warning labels are two different things but serve a single purpose. Educating and creating awareness allows the consumers to make an informed decision. Star rating might help to emphasize the quality and other factors on the labels, the warning labels continue to alert the consumers concerning the reason to avoid the product.

Ashwin Bhadri, CEO, Equinox Labs, “The Front of Package Labeling ensures the relevant details of the products should not be neglected. When it comes to warning labels it alerts the consumers concerning the ingredients in the product. The star rating on the product provides limited information whether the product is safe for consumption or not.”

Equinox Labs is a leading FSSAI Approved and NABL Accredited Food, Water, and Air Testing Lab with 16+ years of experience. With a PAN-India presence, they are also Industry Leaders in Food Safety Auditing and FoSTaC Training.

He added, “Only displaying the star rating on the product is not enough. Educating the consumers concerning the ingredients and the element in the product is a basic necessity. Providing the consumers with only star ratings is an indication of providing half knowledge about the product.”

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