FSSAI Health Star Rating Model on food & beverage products under criticism

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’s (FSSAI) plan to launch a health star rating model for packaged food and beverage products has come under fire from consumer and health advocacy bodies.

Israel and Chile, were among the first countries to mandate nutritional information on the front of packaged food and beverage product, India will be next in line to follow suit.

The Health Star Rating (HSR), is a front of pack labelling system that rates overall nutritional profile of packaged food and beverage products. Instead of asking companies to use warning labels on the basis of ingredients, the companies will now assign a rating from half a star to five stars on each of their packaged food and beverage products.

The idea behind the health star rating system is to provide every consumer with a standard way to compare similar packaged foods, in order to make healthier choices.

However, the move has been criticised by consumer and health advocacy bodies across the country. The argument they propose is that the health star rating system won’t help consumers looking to eat healthy, and will further down play warnings on packaged food and beverage products that are high in sugar, salt and saturated fats.