Bournvita and Other Beverages No Longer ‘Health Drinks’ on E-Commerce Platforms

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Bournvita and Other Beverages No Longer ‘Health Drinks’ on E-Commerce Platforms

| Updated: April 13, 2024 20:04

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has issued an advisory to e-commerce companies, instructing them to reclassify all drinks and beverages, including Bournvita, from the ‘health drinks’ category on their platforms. This directive was issued following an inquiry by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), a statutory body established under Section (3) of the Commission of Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act, 2005.

The NCPCR’s investigation revealed that Bournvita contains sugar levels significantly above acceptable limits. The commission had previously urged the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to take action against companies that failed to meet safety standards and guidelines and were misrepresenting power supplements as ‘health drinks’.

Interestingly, the term ‘health drink’ is not defined under the country’s food laws, according to the regulatory body. Therefore, any product projected under this category violates the rules. Earlier this month, the FSSAI also directed e-commerce portals to refrain from labelling dairy-based or malt-based beverages as ‘health drinks’.

The controversy surrounding the ‘unhealthy’ nature of Bournvita first emerged when a YouTuber criticised the powdered supplement in a video, highlighting that it contained excessive sugar, cocoa solids and harmful colourants. These ingredients could potentially lead to serious health risks in children, including cancer.

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