KUALA LUMPUR: A new law, to be enforced in June, will require food processing industries to comply with compulsory labelling and nutrition claims for certain types of foods.
Announcing this yesterday, Health Minister Datuk Chua Jui Meng said the categories that would come under the new Law on Nutrition Labelling and Claims include bread, dairy products, canned food, fruit juices, salad dressing, mayonnaise and soft drinks.
He said under the new law, nutrition labelling would be compulsory for four types of nutrients namely energy, fat, protein and carbohydrates.
"The ministry finds that there are many food products in the market now which claim to have low fat, low cholesterol content and so on", he told reporters at his ministry's Hari Raya gathering at the Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory Health Department, at Jalan Cenderasari here.
He said notification on the proposed enforcement of the new law had been distributed to those in the food processing industry since August 2000.
The minister said that information stated by manufacturers on their product labels must be based on scientific facts. If the product is said to contain low cholesterol, the manufacturer must prove that it contains low cholesterol based on scientific facts.
"Most of the claims are more oriented towards product promotion and neglect proper principles of nutrition",he said
This could lead to confusion among consumers in terms of the validity of the claim, he said.
Chua said nutrition labelling was important as it provided information on the nutrient level or content stated on the label.
He said the new regulations, which were approved by the Cabinet recently, was based on recommendations from the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the highest international body on food quality and safety standards, which is a subsidiary body of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Health Organisation. -Bernama