Govt. Tells E-commerce firms to remove Bournvita and other drinks from category of “Healthy Drinks”

Attention India
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Ministry of Commerce and Industry issued an letter dated 10 April 2024 to E-commerce platform directing them to remove all drinks including Malt based drink Bournvita from category of “Healthy Drinks” after an inquiry Under Section 14 of Cr.P.C. Act, 2005 and concluded that there is no healthy drink defined under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 submitted by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India and Mondelez India Food Pvt. Ltd.


After an Investigation done by National Commission for Protection of Child Rights or NCPCR it was found that the malt based drink had sugar levels much more than acceptable sugar limits. NCPCR is statutory body constituted under section (3) of the Commission for Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act, 2005. According to the reports by Times of India last month NCPCR chief “Priyank Kanoongo” had written to commerce ministry, FSSAI and Dept. of Consumer Affairs that drink beverage should not be sold as health drink.


FSSAI had earlier this month asked e-commerce websites not to put dairy, cereal or malt based beverages under “health drink” or “energy drink” category. The body reasoned that health drinks are not defined in food laws of India while “energy drinks” are just flavoured water-based drinks under the Laws. FSSAI says using wrong term can mislead the consumer and therefore asked websites to either remove or rectify the ads.


As per National Health Service (NHS) an adult should not consumer more than 30gms sugar per day while in children aged 7-10 years should not consume more than 24 gms per day and children younger than that should not exceed more than 19gms per day. While as per “World Health Organisation” (WHO) guidelines in 2015 adults and children should intake daily sugar less than that of their total energy intake but 20 gms of Bournvita has 7.5 gms of added sugar.


Exactly a year ago a social media influencer namely “Revant Himansingka” who is a nutrionist and health coach claimed that bournvita has sugar, cocoa solids and even cancer causing colorant. In the video he even said that Bournvita’s tagline should be changed from “Tayyari Jeet ki” to “Tayyari diabetes ki”. The video spread like fire in the forest and ultimately the video was deleted when Mondelez issued a legal notice to the influencer claiming the video to baseless. It was only after which inquiry was done by Govt. Ultimately ending the status of “healthy drinks” for all beverages including Bournvita.

-Samyak Jain

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