Government orders companies to print label details of prepacked food in large print

In a relief to consumers, the government has made it mandatory for manufacturing companies to print details like expiry date and net quantity on labels on all prepackaged food in a “bigger font size”. These changes have been effected through an amendment to the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011, by the consumer affairs ministry. “We have done this in the interest of consumers, who should clearly be able to see the details mentioned in the label of pre-packaged food,” Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan told reporters recently. Five declarations are a must to be printed on the label. These include MRP (maximum retail price), manufacturing data, expiry date, net quantity and consumer care details. At present, the declarations on the label are printed in such small fonts that consumers have complained to the government and even made representation to address the issue. Besides, Paswan said no dual MRP will be allowed and testing of net quantity and its declaration on pre-packaged food have been made more scientific in the interest of industries. “No person shall declare different MRPs on an identical pre-packaged commodity by adopting respective trade practices or unfair trade practices as defined under the Consumer Protection Act,” he added.