CCPA asks FSSAI to probe claim of Nestle adding sugar to baby products


PTI, Apr 19, 2024, 11:21 AM IST

Consumer protection regulator CCPA has asked Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSAI) to look into the claim of a Swiss NGO, Public Eye and International Baby Food Action Network, that Nestle was selling baby products with higher sugar content in less developed countries like India.

“We have written to the FSSAI to take cognizance of the report on Nestle’s baby product,” Consumer Affairs Secretary and the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) chief Nidhi Khare told PTI.

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has also taken note of the report and issued a notice to the FSSAI.

According to findings by the Swiss NGO, Public Eye and International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN), Nestle sold baby products with higher sugar content in less developed South Asian countries including India, Africa and Latin American nations as compared to markets in Europe.

Meanwhile on Thursday, Nestle India had said it never compromises on compliance and it has reduced added sugar in baby food products in India by over 30 per cent depending on variants over the past five years.

“Reduction of added sugars is a priority for Nestle India. Over the past 5 years, we have already reduced added sugars up to 30 per cent, depending on the variant, ” the company spokesperson had said.

Stressing that compliance is an essential characteristic of Nestle India, the spokesperson said, “We will never compromise on that. We also ensure that our products manufactured in India are in full and strict compliance with CODEX standards (a commission established by WHO and FAO) and local specifications (as required) pertaining to the requirements of all nutrients including added sugars.”

According to the report, Nestle’s wheat-based product, Cerelac for six-month-old babies is sold without any added sugars in the UK and Germany but 15 Cerelac products analysed from India contained 2.7 grams of added sugar per serving on average.

The sugar content was declared on the packaging in India, the report said.

The highest sugar content in the product was 6 grams in Thailand. In the Philippines, sugar content was found to be 7.3 grams in five out of eight samples tested and the information was not even declared on the packaging, according to the report.

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