Nagpur: The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) at Wardha has admitted a case of objectionable advertising against four brands of Patanjali vegetable oils, as the company is claiming that the oils are cholesterol-free and zero cholesterol on the packaging labels. The hearing in the case will be held in front of the adjudication official (joint commissioner FDA), and if the charges are proved, the company can be find Rs10 lakh in each case. In a similar case, the FDA has also issued a notice to Emami.
“All brands in Nagpur division are under scanner. FDA will take strict action against all manufacturers of brands making such false claims. Consumers are being taken for a ride,” said Joint FDA commissioner SK Kekare. “The market is flooded with many such oils. Their labels carry similar claims. Hence, the FDA has started this drive against all such oil companies. All of them claim that their oils are either cholesterol-free, have zero cholesterol or reduce the cholesterol etc. But the truth is that no vegetable based oil can actually have any cholesterol.
Cholesterol is present only in animal based products like dairy products, meat etc. Thus all these misleading advertising advertisements actually seem to be cheating and fooling customers,” said Raviraj Dhabarde, Food Safety Officer, who is handling the case. The four Patanjali products for which he FDA has raised the objection are Refined Soyabean Oil, Refined Sunflower Oil, Patanjali Virgin Sesame Oil, Patanjali Extra Virgin Groundnut Oil.
GB Gore, assistant commissioner (Food) of FDA at Wardha, told sources that action is being taken under section 2.4.2 (1) Packaging and Labelling rules as labelling likes cholesterol free, zero cholesterol, double refined, triple refined, cholesterol friendly labelling has been banned. “This is necessary to give equal opportunity to all sellers. FDA had given notice to Patanjali to justify their claims but we didn’t get any satisfactory reply from them. Such claims not just mislead customers but also create fear of cholesterol among them. The manufacturers take advantage of this fear and make such false claims, ” said Gore.