The food authority has issued a clarification with regards to declaration of address of the brand owner on food labels and advised its officials not to take any ‘action’ if the FBOs were complying with the basic requirement under FSS Act, which includes having such information through a ‘Barcode or Global Trade Identification Number (GTIN)’.

Under the FSS (Labelling and Display) Regulations, the declaration of the address of the brand owner on the label of pre-packages of food products is required.

The sub clause 5(6)(a) of the Regulations reads, “The name and complete address of the brand owner, whether or not, he himself is the manufacturer, marketer, packer, or bottler, as the case may be, shall be declared on the label. Such name and address shall be preceded by the qualifying words, “Manufactured by (Mfg by, Mfd by) or ‘Marketed by (Mkt by) or ‘Manufactured & Marketed by or Packed and Marketed by” as the case may be.”

However, sub clause 8(5) of the regulation states that these labelling requirements are exempted if they are provided in a ‘Barcode/Global Trade Identification Number (GTIN)’.

“In this regard, it is clarified that the regulation specifies that the declaration of the address of the brand owner may be provided by the FBO either through text or Barcode/GTIN on the label. If the same has already been provided through a Barcode/GTIN, the same need not be declared again through text and vice versa,” said Rakesh Kumar, Director, Regulatory Compliance, FSSAI.

The FSSAI’s direction meanwhile reads, “It is hereby advised that while scrutinising the labelling declaration of the FBO, regulatory provisions should be diligently adhered to.”

The FSSAI added that in case of FBOs that comply with the prescribed norms, whether in writing or with Barcode/GTIN, unnecessary action including issuance of notices to such FBOs may be ‘strictly avoided’.