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Research articles

Information Printed on Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Labels: A Comparative Analysis of Australian and Sri Lankan Legal Framework

Authors:

Charith Amidha Hettiarachchi ,

Ministry of Health, LK
About Charith
National Institute of Health Sciences
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Sanath Sameera Wijesinghe,

The Open University of Sri Lanka, LK
About Sanath
Department of Legal Studies
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Alexandra Jones

The George Institute for Global Health, AU
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Abstract

Sugar is one of the main ingredients in sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs): a major contributor to added sugar intake in the diet. Excess consumption of added sugars can adversely affect human health mainly by contributing to non-communicable diseases. Information related to sugar content is usually declared on an SSB product in the section titled ingredients, nutrition information panel, non-addition claim and in front-of-pack labelling (FOPL). Various countries have implemented laws to disclose sugar-related information in SSBs. The aim of this research is to assess sugar labelling requirements for SSBs in Sri Lanka against international Codex standards and sugar labelling requirements in Australia. A doctrinal review was conducted based on legal related literatures.

 

Both Sri Lankan and Australian legislations as well as Codex standards have provisions on ingredients and claims. FOPL is compulsory for Sri Lankan law for selected sugar sweetened beverages. FOPL is neither recommended by Codex currently nor made compulsory by Australian law; however, Australia does have a voluntary code in that regard. NIP, a compulsory requirement in codex standards is mandatory in Australian food label; whereas, it is not mandatory in Sri Lanka. Introducing legal provisions on nutrition information panel would not only align Sri Lankan law with international standards and jurisdictions but also contribute to the control of non-communicable diseases. Highlighting the sugar content raw in the NIP of SSB with ‘high sugar’ in red colour would further improve the expected outcome. Furthermore, more legal clarity will be achieved in Sri Lanka by adding definitions to terms ‘ingredient’ and ‘non-addition claim’.
How to Cite: Hettiarachchi, C.A., Wijesinghe, S.S. and Jones, A., 2021. Information Printed on Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Labels: A Comparative Analysis of Australian and Sri Lankan Legal Framework. OUSL Journal, 16(2), pp.9–26. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/ouslj.v16i2.7496
Published on 30 Dec 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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