Large Retailers Using Incorrect LabelsBy Jan Hogewoning | Wed, 09/16/2020 - 15:29
In preparation for the new labeling norm for food and non-alcoholic beverages, several large companies have already begun to place stickers on their products. However, Mariana Curiel, from the Mexican Association of Labeling, Nutritional Labeling, Training and Entrepreuneurship (AMEENCE), has warned that the new labeling of brands fails to comply with the exact standards set for the octagon black sticker. In an interview with El Economista, she pointed out that the octogon sticker needs to have a specific order of indications: excess of calories, sugars, saturated fats, trans-fats and excess of sodium. She states that companies like Walmart are creating variations of this instruction. In doing so, they could risk being fined up to MX$9 million (US$426,000). Moreover, they risk dragging their suppliers into copying their new stickers. Large retailers like Walmart could, in turn, choose to cut relations with small suppliers that do not meet its labeling specifications, she claims.
Curiel also stated that the new labeling specifications stipulated by NOM-051 contains errors and does not specify with enough clarity how wide and tall the label should be. Among these errors, which she claims appear in the published original version of the NOM published on March 27, there are numbers cited that do not exist, incorrect statements, references to non-existent information and images with accompanying texts that are contradictory. She points out that the government went on to publish a note with corrections to the NOM but that “nobody seems to have noticed.” Companies that had the money to make immediate changes to their labeling used the original version and not the corrections.
Earlier this month, MBN reported that Coca-Cola FEMSA had filed an amparo against the new labeling reform. The norm, which is set to go into effect on Oct. 1, was considered a risk to the company’s guarantee of returns for investors.