Mexico Approves Advancement of Front-of-Package Warning Signs for Foods and Beverages

On January 24, 2020, just days before the U.S. ratified the brand new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the Mexican government approved a measure to require special labeling for domestic and imported prepackaged, processed foods and non-alcoholic beverages (“Project of Modification to the Official Mexican Standard NOM-051-SCFI / SSA1-2010”). The new regulation will require a front-of-pack (FOP) labeling warning system with icons that highlight excessive content of calories, sugars, saturated fats, trans fats or sodium in products, and identifies caffeine- and sweetener-containing products as not recommended for children. It also imposes severe restrictions on marketing and use of some intellectual property.

Clearly, this proposal raises serious concerns across the international food and beverage industries and with trading partners, and this is yet another example of the importance of consensus- and science-based, international standard-setting for food and agricultural products, such as that undertaken by the United Nations’ Codex Alimentarius Commission (“Codex”).

To date, the Mexican government has not demonstrated that this FOP system will result in the intended health outcomes for Mexican consumers. In comments submitted on December 3, 2019, to the Mexican government, IDFA highlighted various reasons that the regulation could compromise both the promotion and consumption of nutritious dairy foods and beverages in Mexico resulting in negative health consequences for large portions of the population.

To read the rest of the story, please go to: International Dairy Foods Association