The food multinational Kellogg’s has been sanctioned by Mexican authorities that keep 380,000 cereal boxes immobilized for failing to comply with labeling regulations on excess calories and sugars, the country’s consumer defense agency reported Tuesday.
“As of today (Tuesday, January 18) they are still immobilized and they will continue to be immobilized because they have tag problems,” Jesús Montaño, a spokesman for the Federal Consumer Protection Office (Profeco) of Mexico, among the countries most affected by problems of overweight and obesity in the world.
“They can’t market them like that,” he added.
Boxes of Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies and Special K. were seized at “75 points of sale, but the heaviest seizure was made at a distribution center of Kellogg’s in Querétaro (central Mexico),” added the official.
Immobilized products omit “excess calorie or added sugar stamps” and present “legends or interactive images on products with warning stamps,” detailed the prophet in a statement released on January 14.
“The national regulation requires that nutritional information be declared in clear, visible, indelible characters and in contrasting colors,” added the institution.
The sanction provoked the reaction of Kellogg’s México.
“We provide extensive and science-based nutritional information through the labels” of the products, the company said in an “important notice” that jumps immediately when entering its website.
In October 2020 it came into force in Mexico a regulation that obliges companies to warn if their products have excess sugars or calories or if they are not recommended for minors.
The use of drawings in foods aimed at the children’s sector was also prohibited.
As a result, in supermarkets, many domestic or imported food products are sold with the label “excess sugar”, “excess sodium” or “excess saturated fat”, and sometimes with all three labels.
The measure seeks to attack the high rates of obesity that exist in the country and at the time generated criticism of the private initiative. 70% of Mexicans are overweight and almost a third suffer from obesity, according to data from the Mexican government from 2016.
In October last year, the government also impounded several boxes of instant soups for not complying with the labeling rule.