The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Maharashtra has asked the restaurant chain McDonald’s to serve the beverages having caffeine only in containers displaying the label mentioning “contains caffeine”.
“There are adverse effects of consumption of caffeinated food products and specific category of people are more susceptible to caffeinated food products such as pregnant women, lactating mothers, children and patients to whom it is medically advised to avoid consumption of caffeine,” FDA Commissioner Harshadeep Kamble was quoted by PTI as saying.
According to a PTI report, Kamble, also state Food Safety Commissioner, said, “It is very essential for the consumer to know whether a particular food product contains caffeine or not.
“If a person is medically advised to avoid caffeine due to certain health condition and if he consumes caffeinated food product where warning regarding added caffeine is not declared, then it will be highly risky for his health.”
Kamble said he had rejected an appeal by a Kolhapur-based franchise of the American hamburger and fast food restaurant chain and also by a global soft drink major challenging the local FDA official’s objection to non-displaying of caffeine warning on containers.
They were asked to display the text “contains caffeine” on containers wherever applicable, he said.
“They (the franchise and the soft drink company) are hiding the facts about added caffeine from consumers and indulging in unfair trade practises to increase their sale of beverages containing added caffeine,” he was quoted by PTI as saying.
All FDA officials have been asked to check the outlets of McDonald’s and other fast food chains like Burger King and KFC and also inspect malls and multiplexes for violation of this rule, he said.
When contacted over the issue, McDonald’s spokesperson was quoted by PTI as saying, “McDonald’s India adheres to all statutory requirements, and is in compliance with all applicable laws pertaining to mandatory food labelling.”