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FSSAI cracks down on protein supplements over health risks and misleading claims

FSSAI cracks down on protein supplements over health risks and misleading claims


The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is cracking down on protein supplement powders and shakes that are not medically certified, or display misleading claims, the Economic Times reported, citing unnamed sources.

Nearly 70% of India’s 36 most popular protein powders displayed wrong information, with some brands offering only half of what they claim. (Unsplash)

Why is the FSSAI cracking down on many protein powder brands?

This comes after the FSSAI did a study that showed many protein powders and supplements sold at store shelves, e-commerce platforms, and gymnasiums came with false and misleading claims.

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This crackdown can lead to a ban on many such products which do not meet the norms, according to the report.

Growing awareness and popularity surrounding fitness has led to a wide range of steeply priced protein supplements on e-commerce platforms like Healthkart and Amazon, with such protein supplements selling for around 2,000-6,800 for 2-3 kg jars, the report read.

How bad is the situation with protein powders currently?

This comes after a study published in the journal named Medicine, which analysed 36 popular protein supplements sold in India showed that nearly 70% of them had wrong protein information, with some brands offering only half of what they claim. Apart from this, around 14% of them contained harmful fungal aflatoxins, while 8% showed traces of pesticide residue, The Print reported, citing the study.

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“Most Indian-made herbal protein-based supplements are poor quality and contain liver toxic botanicals,” noted the authors, who were clinical researchers at Rajagiri Hospital in Kerala and a US- based technology entrepreneur.

“We demonstrate that the protein-based herbal and dietary supplement industry requires stringent scrutiny, regulation, and basic safety studies before being marketed,” they added.

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