Consumer activists slam delay of sugar labels

Tuesday, 2 August 2016 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Chamodi Gunawardana

The National Movement for Consumer Rights’ Protection (NMCRP) yesterday claimed the law requiring display of coloured labels on all bottled soft drinks to showcase their sugar contents, is not yet being followed by manufactures and importers.

In May the Ministry of Health and Indigenous Medicine introduced a special red label for all bottled drinks containing excessive sugar under Article 32 of the Food Act No. 26 of 1980. The law stated that manufacturers and importers should display a red label if the sugar content of the drink is over 11 grams per 100 ml. 

The law additionally requires that a green label should be displayed for drinks which contain two grams or less. Middle level sugar content (between two and four grams per 100 ml) should be indicated by a yellow label.

The NMCRP alleged that the Minister Rajitha Senaratne and the Health Services Director General Dr. Palitha Mahipala merely held a ‘media show’ to display they were concerned about consumer protection, but did not put any effort into implementing the given law.

 The organisation in a statement demanded the Minister and Director General should resign immediately if unable to ensure the implementation of the law.

However, according to the Gazette notification issued in May, the sugar content label law should be implemented from 1 August 2016 onwards.