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India’s Child Rights panel asks Bournvita to scrap ‘misleading’ ads & labels amid high sugar row

Photo for representation

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has sent a notice to the manufacturer of Bournvita to withdraw “misleading advertisements and packaging labels” on the brand that is promoted as a health drink.

The notice from the country’s child rights organisation to Modelez International, the manufacturer of Bournvita states: “It has been brought to the notice of the Commission that your product contains high percentage of sugar and contents/substances/mixtures/formula which may cause  harmful impact to the health of children.”

The notice addressed to Deepak Iyer, president of Mondelez International, India states that Bournvita “fails to display mandatory disclosures in line with the guidelines and regulations of FSSAI and under the Consumer Protection Act,”  and asked the confectionary giant to respond within a week.

The notice comes amid a huge controversy over allegations that the milk supplement has a very high sugar content.

The child rights body also urged the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and the Central Consumer Protection Authority to take action against companies that fail to meet the guidelines on food safety or advertising.

The controversy erupted after a social media influencer posted a video alleging Bournvita contains high sugar, cocoa solids and a harmful colourant.

However, he later took down the video after Mondelez International issued a legal notice against him saying his claims are misleading.

A Bournvita spokesperson earlier said that the formulation of its milk supplement has been “scientifically crafted by a team of nutritionists and food scientists to offer the best of taste and health. All our claims are verified and transparent and all ingredients have regulatory approvals. All the necessary nutritional information is mentioned on the pack for consumers to make informed choices.”