The first deadline for compliance with the law on Front Food Labeling is August 20, but there are already requests for an extension. Among the largest food factories in Argentina there were requests to extend the “ultimatum”. The factories of ultra-processed and industrialized foods in general, which are the only ones “touched” by the Law, will present their requests in the next few days. They need time not only to “modify the packaging” but also to change the formulation of some products in order to avoid some seals. COPAL, the business entity that brings together more than 30 chambers of the food and beverage industry, “is generating presentations, given that there are still inconsistencies and uncertainties that make it impossible to comply with the Law”.
A study conducted by Asociación Costa Rica Saludable, the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) and the Costa Rican Institute for Research and Education in Nutrition and Health (INCIENSA), showed that warning octagons are the most effective nutrition labeling system to correctly identify food products that are less harmful to health and to influence purchasing decisions.
Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate allergenic labeling components of packaged foods for “What is the quality of food labels?” and “What is the group of Brazilian Food Pyramid that ‘May contain’ is predominant?.” Results:
Results: The quality of the label was appropriate, and 69% of packaged foods had at least one allergen. The information “May contain” were higher in cow’s milk (Cereals and Meat & eggs), soy (Soybean & products), and egg protein (Cereals). Soybean & products were the highest insecurity group.
Conclusions: Brazilian health professionals can count on good-quality labeling of packaged products. Consequently, they could promote patients’ and parents/caregivers’ education to consult the labels and manage the risks in processed foods about precautionary allergen labeling. Soybean & products were the most significant insecurity for food choices between Brazilian Pyramid Groups.
The new rules (RDC No. 429 and Normative Instruction No. 75) for food labeling come into force on October 9, 2022. In addition to changes in the table of nutritional information and claims, the novelty will be the adoption of front-of-line nutrition labeling.
Therefore, it is important for companies to be aware of the deadline for compliance. New products launched on or after October 9, 2022 must already have labels suitable for the new rules. For products already on the market to date, the deadlines for adaptation are:
Until October 9, 2023 (12 months from the effective date of the rule) for food in general;
Until October 9, 2024 (24 months from the effective date of the standard) for foods produced by a family farmer or rural family entrepreneur, solidarity economic enterprise, individual micro-entrepreneur, small agro-industry, artisanal agro-industry and artisanal foods; and
Until October 9, 2025 (36 months from the effective date of the standard) for non-alcoholic beverages in returnable containers, observing the gradual process of label replacement. The labeling changes were established by Resolution of the Collegiate Board of Directors – DRC No. 429 and Normative Instruction No. 75, published in October 2020. The objective of the standards is to improve the clarity and legibility of food labels and, thus, help the consumer to make more conscious food choices.
The National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA in Portuguese) informs that the Questions and Answers on Nutrivigilance – Safety in Food Consumption is now available. This is the first edition of the publication, which aims to clarify doubts on the subject.
The document provides guidance on the following topics: notification of adverse events related to the consumption of processed foods; the processing of notifications received by the Agency; actions to be taken by food companies; and regulations on the subject, among others.
It should be noted that the publication is an instrument of clarification, not regulatory, i.e., it does not bring new rules. It aims to clarify the Nutrivigilance procedures adopted in Brazil.