FDA seizes Rs 33L worth Nutralite brand stocks
The Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has started taking stern action against manufacturers of dairy products over branding, seizing stock worth Rs 33.85 lakh in a raid in Pune district.
The FDA has picked up stocks of Nutralite Fat Spread, manufactured by Zydus Wellness Pvt Ltd, from a distributor in Wadki that were allegedly being sold with false claims to attract the customers.
Samples of the product have been sent to laboratory by the agency, suspecting substandard and misbranding, FDA officials said.
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FDA officials are on a special drive across the state and seized stocks worth more than a Rs 69 lakh in different parts of the state — Nashik, Aurangabad, Goregaon and Panvel— for “incorrect” labeling during raids at cold storage facilities.
An FDA official said the drive was carried out against food manufacturing companies that violate norms laid down in the Food Safety Standards Act, 2006, and for making wrong claims to attract consumers.
“The FDA team has picked up stocks of Nutralite Fat Spread from a distributor in Pune on Thursday night after the instructions of state FDA commissioner.
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The labels on these products declared them as ‘zero cholesterol’ and ‘low fat’, but these claims do not match the standards laid down in the Schedule I (Nutritional Claims) of Advertising & Claim Regulation, 2018, of FSS Act, 2006,” said Suresh Deshmukh, joint commissioner of FDA, Pune region.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) issued an advisory related to this on June 28, 2019, which has been put into practice from December 28, 2019.
According to the FDA officials, the advisory said that the labels of products declared them as ‘zero cholesterol’ or ‘low fat low cholesterol’ should have the same fat and cholesterol content.
Also read: FDA cracks down on ‘zero fat’ products
The FSSAI recommends the permissible limit of the saturated fatty acid level should not be above 1.5gm/100gm. FSSAI has also asked companies to implement the changes in labelling.
Food safety officer Ganpat Kokane said the stocks worth Rs 33.85 lakh, weighing around 21,858 kg have been seized from the cold storage.
The samples were sent to the government laboratory. “As per the new rules, products with ‘zero cholesterol’ label could have cholesterol and saturated fatty acid level of up to1.5gm/100gm. The seized products had levels of over 35gm per 100 gm.
The Nutralite Fat Spread had 37or 36 gm/100gm of saturated fat, which is also mentioned on its package,” Kokane said.
“Further action will be taken according to the reports on the seized samples. We also suspect that the products are substandard and misbranded, but it will be clear once the reports come,” he added.
Mirror reached out Zydus Wellness Pvt Ltd, but got no response.