Government directs e-commerce giants to cease usage of certain terms

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The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued a directive to prominent e-commerce companies, instructing them to accurately label beverages and refrain from using terms like ‘health drinks’ or ‘energy drinks’ for specific categories. This move comes amidst concerns regarding the misclassification of beverages, which could potentially mislead consumers.

The directive from FSSAI highlights the importance of precise labelling, particularly for beverages categorized as dairy-based, cereal-based, or malt-based. These beverages should not be marketed or labelled as “health drinks” or “energy drinks,” as per the directive.

One of the primary reasons behind this directive is the lack of a standardized definition for the term ‘health drink’ within the country’s food laws. Additionally, existing regulations reserve the term ‘energy drink’ for carbonated and non-carbonated water-based flavoured beverages.

FSSAI emphasizes the potential confusion that could arise among consumers due to incorrect terminology. Therefore, e-commerce Food Business Operators (FBOs) are urged to promptly rectify any misclassification and refrain from associating such beverages with the categories of ‘Health Drinks’ or ‘Energy Drinks’.

It is crucial for FBOs to ensure accurate labelling to maintain consumer trust and prevent any misinformation regarding the nutritional content and benefits of beverages. FSSAI’s directive aims to uphold transparency and clarity in the labelling of food and beverage products available through e-commerce platforms.

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