Barreda Moller writes...

Labelling Requirements Applicable to Foodstuffs in the New Consumer Code

Subchapter II:  Consumer Protection in Foodstuffs within Chapter IV: Consumer Health and Safety in the new Consumer Protection Code, sets forth specific information that suppliers must include in the labeling of their products, when dealing with foodstuffs falling within the categories regulated under the Code, covering modified foods, organic foods, trans fat foods, genetically modified foods, amongst others.  This is important information which suppliers should now bear in mind in order to avoid incurring in infringement, which is sanctioned with warnings and fines. The fines scale under the Code reaches a maximum of approximately US$540,000 (450 Peruvian UITs).

Provisions under the new Code include the following:

(a)        Suppliers which allege aspects of quality of their products, through the use of phrases, expressions or images, must be capable of proving such information.  For the purpose of this provision “quality” is the group of a product’s characteristics which confers on it the capacity to satisfy established and implied necessities;

(b)        Labels must include in a prominent manner the denomination which reflects the true nature of the foodstuffs, without generating consumer confusion or deceit.  Healthy allegations must be sustained according to applicable law and the Codex Alimentarius;

(c)        Foodstuffs that have been modified by virtue of subtraction, substitution or addition of ingredients can use the denomination of the original products only if allowed by the applicable law or in its absence, by the Codex Alimentarius;

(d)        Suppliers offering organic foods must be duly certified and must clearly identify them in labels, containers and direct and indirect means of information;

(e)        Foods containing a type of fat considered to be trans must warn so in the labels, with inclusion of the percentage;

(f)         Foods which include components that are genetically modified, must indicate so in their labels.

Most of the provisions of the Code will come into effect thirty (30) calendar days counted from the day following its publication on 2 September 2010.  Paragraphs (e) and (f) above will come into force one hundred and eighty (180) calendar days after the Code’s entrance into effect.

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