Published On : Sat, Apr 13th, 2024
National News | By Nagpur Today Nagpur News

Centre’s big order: Remove Bournvita from ‘health drinks’ category

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New Delhi: The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has issued an advisory to the e-commerce companies, directing them to remove all drinks and beverages including Bournvita from the category of ‘health drinks’, on their portal and platforms, a media report said.

“National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), a statutory body constituted under Section (3) of the Commission of Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act, 2005 after its inquiry under Section 14 of CRPC Act 2005 concluded that there is no ‘health drink’ defined under FSS Act 2006, rules and regulations submitted by FSSAI and Mondelez India Food Pvt Ltd,” the Ministry said in a notification, dated April 10.

The advisory comes on the back of an investigation by the NCPCR that found the Bournvita contains sugar levels, much above the acceptable limits.

Earlier, the NCPCR had called upon the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to initiate action against the companies that failed to meet safety standards and guidelines and were projecting power supplements as ‘health drinks’.

Notably, as per the regulatory body, ‘health drink’ has not been defined in the country’s food laws and to project something under the same violates the rules. The FSSAI, earlier this month, also instructed e-commerce portals against labelling dairy-based or malt-based beverages as ‘health drinks’.

The controversy over the ‘unhealthy’ nature of Bournvita first arose after a YouTuber in his video slammed the powder supplement and informed that it contained excessive sugar, cocoa solids and harmful colourants that could lead to serious health hazards in children, including cancer.

Notably, the NCPCR had recently asked Mondelez India-owned brand Bournvita to withdraw all “misleading” advertisements, packaging and labels after a video claimed that the health drink has high sugar content.

In a notice to the confectionery major, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) had also asked it to send a detailed explanation or report to apprise the panel on the matter.

The notice was sent after a social media influencer sparked a row by posting a video alleging that Bournvita has high sugar content.

Though the influencer, Revant Himatsingka, deleted the video from all platforms after being served a legal notice by Mondelez India, it had already raked up around 12 million views and was widely circulated.

The NCPCR said it had received a complaint alleging that Bournvita promotes itself as a health drink improving children’s growth and development but it contains high percentage of sugar and other substances that might impact a child’s health.

Responding to the viral videos, Bournvita had earlier said that over the last seven decades, it has “earned the trust of consumers in India by being a scientifically formulated product that adheres to quality standards and complies with the laws of the land”.

“We would again like to reinforce that the formulation has been scientifically crafted by a team of nutritionists and food scientists to offer the best of taste and health. All our claims are verified and transparent and all ingredients have regulatory approvals. All the necessary nutritional information is mentioned on the pack for consumers to make informed choices,” a Bournvita spokesperson had said.