FSSAI Clarifies Use of “ORS” in Brand Names with Conditions

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued an updated order on the use of the term “ORS” in brand names for food products. This follows an earlier order in July 2022 that allowed manufacturers with valid trademarks containing “ORS” to continue using them until a decision from the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (CGPDTM) was received.

The CGPDTM has now clarified that the term “ORS,” when combined with other prefixes or suffixes, can be used in trademarks under Section 17 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999. However, the FSSAI has laid out specific conditions for manufacturers using such brand names:

(1) FBOs with valid trademarks containing “ORS” may use the word “ORS along with other prefix or suffix” as a whole in consonance with Section 17 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999.

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(2) All such FBOs shall provide prominent declaration on their Front-of-Pack that ‘The product is NOT a ORS formula as recommended by WHO’, or any similar meaning phrases without changing the intent to avoid any confusion or misleading the consumers.

The font size of the above disclaimer shall not be less than 1.5 mm for principal display panel up to 100 Sq. cm, not less than 2 mm for principal display panel between 100-200 Sq. cm and not less than 3 mm in case of principal display panel above 200 Sq. cm.

(3) In addition to above, FBOs shall also comply with the provision made under sub regulation 4 (7) of the FSS (Advertising and Claims) Regulations, 2018, while clearly stating the disclaimer on the front of pack of the product i.e. “This is only a brand name or trademark, or fancy name and does not represent its true nature; (relevant one may be chosen as applicable)” in specified font size mentioned under the said provision.

(4) All the concerned FBOs shall ensure compliance with the above directions w.e.f 01st April, 2024.

Impact on Manufacturers:

  • Manufacturers with pre-existing trademarks containing “ORS” must comply with the new labeling requirements by the deadline.
  • Manufacturers without valid trademarks for “ORS”-containing names must either reformulate their products or discontinue them.

Consumer Implications:

  • Consumers can now have clearer information on whether a product claiming to be “ORS” actually adheres to WHO standards.
  • The new labeling requirements aim to prevent any false or misleading claims related to ORS benefits.

Click here to download official order

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