The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) congratulated the Ministry of Health and Social Protection (MinSalud) for advancing the process of labeling processed foods. Through its Twitter account, the PAHO delegation in Colombia assured that this modification is an advance in public health in the country.
“PAHO congratulates the authorities for the publication of the new front labeling resolution that modifies Resolution 810. It is a great advance in the prevention of obesity in Colombia,” said the agency.
On June 16, 2021, Colombia’s Ministry of Health and Social Protection (MINHEALTH) issued Resolution No. 810 establishing the technical regulation for nutrition and front-of pack labeling requirements for packaged food for human consumption, which will go into effect on December 16, 2022. This report includes the original regulation and an English translation.
The Ministry of Health opened a public call to begin a study, with the “best available evidence”, to identify what type of front warning seal a package with high levels of sodium, sugars or saturated fats should have. The tender is titled “Front labeling process” and requests the evaluation of the best available evidence to establish shapes, color, size, legends and location of the front warning labeling for processed products in Colombia. In the study, two reports must be submitted: the first one, 15 days after the bid is submitted, on how the study will be carried out; the second one, the complete results by July 17, 2022.
According to the official, here reality is a function of what the evidence tells us, so I want to be very transparent. There are hexagonal and octagonal seals that show a degree of evidence. If the study shows that these are the best seals, then we will have to take measures,” added the official. He also stated that before the end of Iván Duque’s government, the results of an independent study will be known and technical decisions will be taken based on the users.
There are already some food packages with circular warning seals, in accordance with resolution 810 of the Ministry of Health, despite the fact that different social organizations have requested octagonal seals. However, the debate that has been generated in several instances is that after the resolution was issued in the Congress of the Republic, a law was issued that modified some guidelines. Among them, it was requested that the front seals be chosen based on the best scientific information, which according to the civil society are the octagonal seals.