On November 8th, 2019, the Ministry of Health (Secretaria de Salud) (hereinafter «the Ministry») published the Decree reforming and adding various provisions of the General Health Law, regarding overweight, obesity and the labeling of food and non-alcoholic beverages in the Official Gazette of the Federation (Diario Oficial de la Federación) («DOF»)
In general terms, this reform establishes the following:
- Health authorities will establish actions that favor nutritious food and physical activity, and therefore actions will be promoted to reduce malnutrition and promote the consumption of adequate foods that meet the nutritional needs of the population and avoid elements that pose a potential risk to health;
- The Ministry will determine nutritious requirements to be met by basic food schedules, indicating nutrients and quantities.
- Information on labels and back labels shall correspond to the specifications established by the Ministry in secondary provisions, including a frontal specification applicable to non-alcoholic beverages, foods, with regards to addedd sugars and fats, in accordance with a simplified information system determined by the Ministry; and
- The Ministry will determine the critical nutrients that may be a risk factor for chronic diseases.
Through stricter regulation in the consumption of sugars, saturated fats, trans fats, sodium, industrialized wheat and corn flours, the Ministry aims to ensure that the population has access to foods adequate for their nutritional needs, thus avoiding potential health risks.
These reforms came into force on November 9, 2019. Changes are also expected to the Official Mexican Standard 051 («NOM 051») which establishes the general requirements and specifications of mandatory labeling for food and non-alcoholic beverages.
The lawyers of the administrative law, Life Sciences and Health practices of Basham, Ringe and Correa are at your service to answer any questions regarding this informative note.
Daniel Del Rio
Mexico City, November 21th, 2019.