FSSAI License

FSSAI Slams Immunity Booster Food claimed by Register Companies during Covid-19 time

calendar16 Dec, 2020
timeReading Time: 4 Minutes
immunity booster food

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) are still continuing to crack down the claims of so-called immunity booster food by the FSSAI registered companies flooded in the market ever since the Covid-19 pandemic.

The medical experts are warning people as not to believe on such claims. Starting from the March, FSSAI has been identifying many such foods and medicines which vaguely promising for boosting immunity. Also the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) is working with the government and ensuring that ads which mislead claims of Covid-19 protection are to be withdrawn.

ASCI Banning the Brands Claiming to be Immunity Booster in Covid-19 Ad Campaigns

Advertisements from anti-corona mattresses and shirts to immunity booster food such as bread, biryani etc and several other products have tried to incash the situation of Covid-19 outbreak. The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has been cracking the whip on the ads which are using “immunity booster” proposition for the products. These ads are flagged by users on the ASCI’s official social media handles and website.

Recently, ASCI flagged to stop an immunity booster food claiming by the brand Modern Foods on its packaging; therefore the company had withdrawn that product. The ASCI has tagged the FSSAI for verifying a claim made by restaurant chain Biryani Blues about the immunity booster food in turmeric with the flagship in a print ad. The packaging of hand sanitizer for hygiene brand Lifebuoy owned by Hindustan Unilever has claimed to have an immunity-boosting effect but it has been called out by the consumers on social media. The ASCI flagged to the company, which company later has clarified the claim.

Suspension Pending Investigation

ASCI have been taking proactive action against various companies, asking them to prove the claims with the facts or else withdraw the ads. It has started exercising the (SPI) “suspension pending investigation” option after considering the publication of such type of ads that can harm public at large or is against public interest.

SPI was done on the range of products such as on an anti-corona mattress and tulsi drops to apparel claiming to protect people from the corona virus. There has been a range of claims by various sectors and industries which have come under the supervision. It includes the covid-19 prophylactic medicines and beverages promising to be an immunity booster food. The ministry of AYUSH has asked the ASCI to alert about all those misleading advertisements.

FSSAI has Recommended Vitamin-C as Immunity booster Food

Immunity booster foods are essential in the present situation of Covid-19. Therefore one needs to boost their immunity amidst a pandemic. Experts have emphasised on the statement that it is required to consume foods rich in nutrients to keep the novel corona virus and other illnesses away. It has been found true that foods rich in Vitamin C will help in improving immunity levels and the same has been reiterated by the FSSAI recently. The food regulatory body suggested some of these plant-based foods that one must included in their diet.

The Food Safety Regulator[1] has pass on the message to public on the micro blogging website. So here is a list of Vitamin C rich health foods that can help in boosting immunity such as:-

FSSAI Recommended Vitamin-C
  1. Amla: Researches have found that the Indian Gooseberry or amla helps in improving the blood fluidity and also reduces biomarkers of oxidative stress in the human body.
  2. Orange: The oranges are known for having low Glycemic Index (GI) and also these are the good source of fibre, minerals and vitamins like folate, thiamine, and potassium.
  3. Papaya: The papaya is also a very good source of fibre and it consists of low in calories. It also detoxifies the body and eases the bowel movement which helps in preventing the digestive disorders such as bloating and upset stomach.
  4. Capsicum: The bell-shaped peppers/capsicum is highly rich in the vitamin A and E and also has other antioxidants, fibre, and minerals. Studies have found that it improves the eye health because of presence of antioxidants and it also prevents from anaemia.
  5. Guava: The guavas are rich in the potassium and fibre so it helps in improving blood sugar levels and also boost heart health. The guavas are proven to provide relieve in painful symptoms of menstruation such as cramps.
  6. Lemon: The lemons are best known for the weight-loss. It is highly rich in Vitamin C and prevents from heart diseases and digestive health. The citric acid in lemon helps in preventing the kidney stones.

Conclusion

Since March, the regulator has looked upon more than 500 advertisements by its suo motu surveillance, especially on the digital and social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube or on the websites of advertisers. During this time of pandemic we must ensure our health safety first.

It is recommended to eat healthy and use sanitizer to maintain the hygiene. The spread has caused several deaths therefore the only prevention till the arrival of vaccine is use of mask and hand sanitizer before and after eating or touching your mouth and nose.

Read our article: FSSAI Restrain Licensing Authorities from Demanding Immaterial Documents from FBOs

Soumya Bajpai

Soumya has done LLB (Hons) and has a 2+years experience in writing. Her main interest is in reading judgments, new enactments and amendments taking around in law. She always strives to bring the best to work that she does.

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