FSSAI signs MoU with ASCI to address misleading advertisements in F&B sector
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has signed an MoU partnering with the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) as momentum towards supporting co-regulation in advertising. Addressing the cases of misleading advertisements in the food and beverage sector (F&B), ASCI will comprehensively monitor these advertisements across various media.
As per a press release, ASCI has been given a suo moto monitoring mandate by FSSAI to process complaints against misleading F&B advertisements. The MoU also requires ASCI to report to FSSAI non-compliance of ASCI’s decisions for further action required as per provisions of FSS Act. FSSAI received cases of misleading advertisement through “gama portal.” Out of 21 cases received till date, FSSAI disposed six cases and remaining cases are in different stages of scrutiny/disposal.
FSSAI will also redirect complaints against misleading F&B advertisements to ASCI, which will be reviewed using ASCI’s code and guidelines. The review will include violation of the FSS Act and regulations related to advertisements making misleading, unsubstantiated or false claims.
This partnership will put in place a mechanism to monitor misleading advertisements and will lead towards streamlining advertisements effectively through structured guidelines and appropriate action.
Pawan Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI, said, “FSSAI has taken a serious view of misleading advertisements related to food and to effectively handle the same, we have entered into MoU with ASCI, which shall provide paradigm shift towards handling such scenario and shall also bring transparency and accountability with stakeholders participation.”
Benoy Roychoudhry, chairman, ASCI, commented, “We are delighted that ASCI’s self-regulatory process on advertising content is getting recognition from various government bodies and the partnership with FSSAI will augment our efforts in curtailing misleading advertisements. F&B products are consumed on a daily basis impacting the health and well-being of millions of consumers. Reining in misleading advertisements for this important sector would be a key priority for ASCI.”