and Advertising Regulations
Compiled by Gabi Steenkamp, Registered Dietician, Johannesburg
With the first half of the new South African food labelling and advertising regulations
having been passed in March 2010,
all labels and advertising of
South Africa must be compliant. At present our advice is based on the passed first
phase of the regulations of March 2010 as well as the published third draft of the regulations as a guideline for those issues not covered by the first half of the passed regulations. Some of the finer detail will probably still change in the second half
of the regulations when they are passed, but we try to ensure that this will be kept
to a minimum when compiling the report on your product label evaluation.
See the government website for more details:
Why new legislation?
In the past, South African food manufacturers have used marketing strategies
that mislead the consumer, not only directly with
blatant untruths printed on labels,
but also by
misleading the consumer with half truths or by
implication on label and marketing
A good example of this are the vegetable oils that are labeled 'contains 0%
when in fact all vegetable oils DO NOT contain cholesterol. By
implication, consumers would then assume that only those oils labeled with the
'contains 0% cholesterol' are the healthier choice as only they contain no cholesterol.
|The facts however are:
||All vegetables oils are naturally free of cholesterol
||Vegetable oils have differing fatty acid compositions which function differently
in the body – this is the pertinent information the consumer should be given
||All vegetable oils have the same energy value ( kJ or Cal), and there is no such
thing as a ‘lite’ vegetable oil
||Vegetable oils are manufactured by different methods, and this may affect the nutritional content of the oil. Again, information the consumer should be made
To address these problems, the Food Directorate of the Department of Health, has been hard at work reformulating the Food Labelling Regulations.
|In essence, the objective is to create an equal platform for all products by stating:
||not confusing the consumer by word or implication
||using the label as a platform for consumer education