INDIA – Mondelez International India, manufacturer of Bournvita, a chocolate health drink claiming to be enriched with Vitamin (D, B2, B9, and B12), has been summoned and asked to evaluate and remove all “misleading” ads, packaging, and labeling from their product by the National Commission for the Protection of Children’s Rights (NCPCR).
In a letter to the President of Mondelez International India, the NCPCR said that it had received a complaint alleging that Bournvita, which bills itself as a health powder or health drink, has a high percentage of sugar and other ingredients that may be detrimental to children’s health.
The Commission stated that the product in question does not “prima facie” adhere to rules regarding the display of method of preparation and number of portions to be served when it is related to the health benefits claimed, citing sections of a notification issued by FSSAI on Food Safety Standards (Labelling and Display).
Additionally, it stated that the product lacks a disclaimer or warning that describes the adverse effects of consuming such a mixture or formula on minors, a presumptive violation of the Consumer Protection Act of 2019.
The Commission further informed the company that it has written to the Chief Commissioner of the Central Consumer Protection Authority and the Chief Executive Officer of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) requesting that they take the appropriate measures.
“In this regard, the Commission notes that the packaging and advertising of the product made by your company mislead consumers. Furthermore, the labeling and packaging of your product do not accurately reflect the ingredients used in the product — Bournvita,” the letter dated April 21 said.
The development follows a complaint the Commission received stating that there is a high sugar content in Bournvita.
The Commission has also written to the Chief Commissioner of the Central Consumer Protection Authority and the Chief Executive Officer of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) requesting that they take the appropriate measures.
“We would again like to reinforce that a team of nutritionists and food scientists has scientifically crafted the formulation to offer the best of taste and health. All our claims are verified and transparent, and all ingredients have regulatory approvals.
“All the necessary nutritional information is mentioned in the pack for consumers to make informed choices,” a Bournvita spokesperson said.