Colombia/opinion – Modifying Resolution 810 on labeling would affect a decade’s worth of work in the industry

The food industry would be on tenterhooks due to a new front labeling regulation on the horizon, which would modify law 810 of 2021. Julián Castro, founder and CEO of the alternative food startup FreeZen, explains that this would affect the finances of entrepreneurs in the sector, due to the high cost involved in changes that had already been generated this year in order for consumers to have clearer ideas of the ingredients of the products.

Colombia: Draft amendment to Resolution 810 on front-of-package warning labels

The Ministry of Health published the draft resolution that modifies Resolution 810 of 2021, which establishes the nutritional and front labeling requirements that must be met by packaged foods for human consumption in Colombia.

The Ministry of Health, in order to comply with the requirements of Article 5 of Law 2120 of 2021, delegated a study developed by the University of Antioquia through an experimental study that analyzed all relevant variables in this type of labeling and showed that the text “EXCESS IN” is the one that best suits the needs invoked by public health, therefore, it was decided to adopt the methodology of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to define the foods to be included and the levels to be included in the front labeling.

The Ministry of Health also emphasizes that this model has inclusion criteria for critical nutrients (free sugars, sodium, saturated fats, total fats and trans fatty acids) based on the nutrient intake targets for the general population established by the WHO to prevent obesity and non-communicable diseases.

Likewise, the portfolio specified that those companies that have already included the circular seal on their products will have six months to use up the existing labels. “If after this time they still have labels with the initial provisions, they may authorize the exhaustion before the Invima,” said MinSalud.
In the bill that has already been published for comments, the labels appear as follows:

It will be 15 days in national consultation and then must receive concept of the Ministry of Commerce, to be submitted to international consultation for a period of 60 days, said the current Minister of Health Fernando Ruiz. It is expected that by December the final decree will be issued to modify Resolution 810 with the octagonal labeling, so it will be the government of Gustavo Petro, headed by Minister Carolina Corcho, that will adopt the regulation.

Colombia: Nullity action against Resolution 810 accepted

Dejusticia, a legal and social studies center located in Bogota, announced that the Colombian Council of State admitted a nullity suit against Resolution 810, arguing that the circular labeling for ultra-processed products, which the Ministry of Health seeks to establish, is not based on the best scientific evidence.

In the lawsuit, which was admitted on June 30 by the high court, the organization asked the judges to suspend the Resolution as a precautionary measure to prevent companies from implementing it while they decide.

Colombia: Front-end labeling law will impact final food prices

The National Association of Industrialists of Colombia (ANDI in Spanish) warned that the Front End Labeling Law will impact consumers’ pockets, due to the costs that some companies will have to assume to comply with the new regulation. See more personal finance news

The president of ANDI’s Food Industry Chamber, Camilo Montes, explained that companies have about six months to change their current packaging and comply with the regulations established by the Ministry of Health in Resolution 810.

Colombia: Authorities acknowledge that the front‐of‐pack nutrition labelling model will not be ready on schedule

In the middle of the political control debate to the Minister of Health, Fernando Ruiz, he accepted that it is impossible that the labeling on junk food packages will be ready before December 7 or 16.

This means that the Government would not comply with the law, which regulated that by August 1 of this year the front seals should be implemented on the packages.

“The objective is that before December 17, when Resolution 810 comes into force, we will have this modification. Before, I have to say it clearly, calmly and honestly, it is impossible”, assured Minister Ruiz.