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Misleading advertising & Unhealthy food products UPSC NOTE


  • Supreme Court Bench hearing the case against Patanjali Ayurved and its leaders Acharya Balkrishna and Baba Ramdev, observed that, in the context of the government not having taken any action against the company for publishing advertisements touting untested, pseudoscientific cures for COVID-19, diabetes, and other conditions, the Union has to activate itself

  •  The Bench also took cognisance of a report that the baby formula Nestlé sells in India contains more sugar than its corresponding product in Europe, and expanded the Patanjali Ayurved matter’s remit to include all fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies publishing misleading advertisements.

  • Manufacturers have also been known to include some vitamins, say, in order to escape scrutiny, but their product is still ‘junk’

  • The Court asked the Ministry of AYUSH why it did not act on the allegedly bad advertisements the Advertising Standards Council of India had flagged; the Council itself has no instruments by which it can force compliance. 

  • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has specified the permissible thresholds of ingredients in various food products yet is infamously reluctant to pull up errant manufacturers; it also remains understaffed, underequipped, and underfunded.

  • The task of regularly calling out unscientific claims has thus fallen to variously informed members of civil society, from ill-qualified ‘influencers’ to licensed medical practitioners, yet they do not enjoy protection from retributive, expensive, and tedious legal action. 

  • As such, FMCG marketing should be subject to prompt enforcement and timely action

  • Its absence is responsible for the proliferation of unfalsifiable claims regarding nourishment as well as the growing disunion between India’s concern about non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and the foods available to the people



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Misleading advertising & Unhealthy food products UPSC NOTE
Misleading advertising & Unhealthy food products UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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