Food regulator FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) send a strict notice to McDonald’s for showcasing false advertisements regarding freshly cooked foods and vegetables in order to promote fast food.
In its notice, the FSSAI spoke of the full-page advertisement published by McDonald’s in the newspapers that stated, “Stuck with Ghiya-Tori (bottle gourd-sponge gourd) Again? Make the 1+1 Combo you love”.
The watchdog of the food sector gives out a show-cause notice to the franchise of Hardcastle Restaurants and Connaught Plaza Restaurants Ltd. Both of them are the basic franchisee that operates the fast-food chain of McDonald’s in India.
Over the last weekend, McDonald’s was constantly showing advertisements in newspapers for the sole reason of increasing traffic at its outlets by allegedly defaming home-cooked food and healthy vegetables.
What FSSAI believed?
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) said we have noted various incidences of reckless advertising by various food companies in order to increase sales of their own foods and outlets.
FSSAI said “Tendency of the food companies to disparage freshly cooked food and vegetables that are healthier is a matter of grave concern. Such advertisements are against national efforts for promoting healthier and right eating habits, especially in the children from a young age, with the aim to ensure safe and wholesome food for them so that the kids feel better, grow better and learn better.”
McDonald’s has been probed to provide clarification in a specified timeframe. The penalty of breaking the FSSAI’s advertisement code is up to Rs 10 lakh.
Hardcastle restaurant said “we only operate restaurants in west and south India and the print ad in question was not issued by us. We have already clarified the FSSAI on the same issue.”
FSSAI admitted that advertising and marketing is a vital protagonist in fabricating the food choices in the mind of people especially children. Negligent food advertising has to turn out to be a matter of deep concern. Also, it can deeply impact the food choices of a person.
What’s new and significant?
A new campaign name as Eat Right is recently launched by the Ministry of Health. The main aim of this campaign is to tell people about heading towards healthier food choices and skipping the world of junkies from the lifestyle. WHO also said that we are taking a resolution to reduce the impact of marketing of junk foods rich in saturated fats, trans-fatty acids, sugar-free and salt on children. It is also said that marketing is an effective way that leads towards the mind of people especially children and expose their minds towards doing the same. Marketing of processed foods which are high in saturated fats can make a person’s mind to choose unhealthy foods which in turn create several problems and diseases in the body.
FSSAI also revised the ‘Food Safety and Standards and claims of Advertising and Marketing. As per the new regulations, the advertisements should not focus much on health-related lifestyles and also not allowed to promote meal replacement food and beverages unless otherwise specifically permitted by FSSAI.