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SGS Informs on Amendments to Food Labeling Regulations in South Africa
On 29 May 2014, South Africa published draft amendments to the Food Labeling regulations R429 with comments period open until 29 August 2014.
Although these regulations were published as amendments, there are major changes and additions to the current regulations.
Food Labeling – Communication on Nutrition and Health Claims
The major changes are centered around the communication of nutrition and health information to the consumer and restrictions on where the information may be provided. If these regulations are passed nutrition information will become mandatory for all food sold in South Africa, except for a small number of exemptions.
Restrictions on Health and Nutrient Claims
The restriction on health and nutrient claims will prevent claims being made on products which do not score favorably based on their nutrition profile, as well as foods containing fructose, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, aluminum and fluoride. These restrictions will also apply to graphics with cartoon characters being used on any food marketed to children.
Finally health claims will be allowed in South Africa as a list of allowable claims has now been published. This is supported by a guideline on the submission of new claims.
Some other areas of regulatory changes are:
- Increase in text size requirements.
- Specifications of product must be kept in a specified format and be accessible to the authorities within 2 working days.
- Where a product displays a religious symbol the same product will need to be displayed on shelf with no religious symbols.
- Health claims may no longer be promoted through brand names and products doing this will need to be removed.
Food Labeling regulations R429 (http://www.health.gov.za/
About SGS Food Safety Services
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For further information, please contact an SGS expert.
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