Advocacy in SC Seeking ‘Health Star Rating’ for Food, Beverage, Retail News, ET Retail

A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court asking the government to develop guidelines on health star ratings and impact assessment of food and drink products. The petition, likely to be heard in the coming days, asked the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to review WHO recommendations on fat, salt and sugar intake, guidelines on ‘Health Impact Assessment’ and the ‘Health Star Rating System’ used in the United States, Australia and New Zealand and prepares a detailed report within three months.

The PIL, filed by BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, also asked the Center to develop guidelines to ensure that the “health rating” as well as the “health warning” are printed on the front side. of packaging and to make “Health Impact Assessment” and “Environmental Impact Assessment” mandatory for all industries producing packaged food and drink.

“Order states to take appropriate action to comply with the guidelines on ‘Health Star Rating’, ‘Health Warning System’, ‘Health Impact Assessment’ and ‘Environmental Impact Assessment,'” he said.

The petition, filed through attorney Ashwani Kumar Dubey, claimed that the FSSAI did not conduct a ‘health impact assessment’ or implement the ‘health star rating system’. .

“The harm caused to citizens is extremely significant because, due to the inaction of the Center and the FSSAI, the “right to health” guaranteed by Article 21 is brazenly violated. Healthy food is necessary to prevent all forms of malnutrition (emaciation, stunting, vitamin or mineral deficiency, overweight, obesity) as well as diet-related non-communicable diseases (heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancers) and reduces the risk of infectious diseases like COVID.

“The FSSAI does not conduct a ‘health impact assessment’ or a ‘health star rating system’, so citizens are forced to consume foods high in energy, fat and in sugars and lower fiber foods, fruit juices, vegetables and grains,” the petition reads.

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