The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has instructed all e-commerce companies to reclassify drinks and beverages, including Bournvita, by removing them from the ‘health drinks’ category on their platforms.

According to a notification issued by the ministry, the decision came after an inquiry by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), a statutory body established under the Commission for Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act, 2005. The inquiry, conducted under Section 14 of the CPCR Act, concluded that there is no specific definition of “Health Drink” under the Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act, 2006, and its related rules and regulations, as confirmed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and Mondelez India Food Pvt Ltd.

Previously, the NCPCR had urged the FSSAI to take action against companies that were found to be non-compliant with safety standards and guidelines, and were marketing nutritional supplements as ‘health drinks’. The notification from the commerce ministry instructs all e-commerce platforms to remove drinks and beverages, including Bournvita, from the ‘health drinks’ category. The FSSAI highlighted that ‘health drink’ is not explicitly defined in existing laws, while ‘energy drinks’ are considered to be flavoured water-based beverages under the current regulations.

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