The Ministry of Consumer Affairs has written to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), raising concerns regarding the claims made by Swiss NGO Public Eye regarding “added sugar” in Nestle India’s infant cereals sold in India.

In the letter written by Nidhi Khare, Secretary, Consumer Affairs Ministry and Chief Commissioner, Central Consumer Protection Authority, a copy of which was viewed by businessline, the ministry has requested FSSAI to initiate “appropriate actions” into the “practices of Nestle regarding the composition of Nestle Cerelac baby cereals sold in India.

The letter refers to the claims made by Public Eye in its report released on Wednesday.

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According to the report, Cerelac products sold in India by Nestle contain added sugar of 2.7 grams per serving. It has alleged that the packaged food major sells baby food products with added sugar in low and middle income countries, while these products are sold without added sugar in developed markets such as Switzerland, Germany, UK and France.

“It may be mentioned that high sugar in baby products raises serious concerns about the implications for the health and safety of children in our country. The health and well-being of our citizens, especially infants and young children, is of paramount importance, and any deviation from safety standards could lead to serious health concerns,” the letter has stated.

“The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is requested to initiate appropriate actions into the practices of Nestle Company regarding the composition of Nestle Cerelac baby cereals sold in India,” the letter added.

In a statement, Nestle India has stated that it is in “full and strict” compliance with CODEX standards and local specification pertaining to the requirements of all nutrients, including added sugars.

“We would like to assure you that our infant cereal products are manufactured to ensure the appropriate delivery of nutritional requirements such as protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, iron etc. for early childhood. We never compromise and will never compromise on the nutritional quality of our products. We constantly leverage our extensive global research and development network to enhance the nutritional profile of our products,” the Nestle India’s statement added.

It has also stressed that it has reduced sugar by up to 30 per cent in its infant cereals portfolio, depending on the variant, over the past five years.