NCPCR urges FSSAI to review sugar content in Nestle’s infant products

New Delhi: The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) urged the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to conduct a thorough review of the concerns over the sugar content in infant food products manufactured by Nestle.

The NCPCR acknowledged media reports that sugar contents found in infant food products manufactured by Nestle have raised alarm over potential health risks due to added sugar in certain baby food products.

“As per the report, certain baby food products manufactured by Nestle may content added sugars, which could potentially harm the health of infants and young children. Given the vulnerability of this population group and their unique nutritional needs, it is imperative that baby foods meet strict standards for nutritional quality and safety” the NCPCR stated in a release.

The release added that in light of these concerns, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) should undertake a comprehensive review of the sugar content in baby food products manufactured and marketed by Nestle and other companies.

The Commission also requested FSSAI to provide information on whether the company’s products are certified by FSSAI and if they adhere to required protocols. Additionally, the NCPCR sought Standard Guidelines for Infant Food Products and the list of baby food manufacturing companies registered with FSSAI, along with their respective products.

NCPCR has also set a deadline of 7 days for FSSAI to furnish the requested information according to a release by the commission.

According to media reports, Public Eye, a Switzerland-based health regulator, carried out an investigation revealing that despite stringent guidelines by the World Health Organisation (WHO), banning added sugars in baby food products.

Nestle’s baby food product Cerelac was found to contain, on an average, nearly 3 grams of sugar per serving in India, the reports claimed.

Responding to ANI queries, Nestle India stated, “We believe in the nutritional quality of our products for early childhood and prioritize using high-quality ingredients. Over the past 5 years, Nestle India has reduced added sugars by up to 30%, depending on the variant, in our infant cereals portfolio (milk cereal based complementary food). We regularly review our portfolio and continue to innovate and reformulate our products to further reduce the level of added sugars without compromising on quality, safety and taste.”

The reports, however, said Nestle violated WHO guidelines against adding honey or sugar in baby food products not only in India but also in many Asian, African and Latin American countries.

The shares of Nestle India also took a sharp hit on Thursday in the wake of the charges against the multi-national food company of adding sugar to infant food products. The shares of Nestle India declined by about 3 per cent before closing at Rs 2471. Its intraday low was at Rs 2,410.

(With inputs from ANI)


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