On August 29th, a decree providing for the labeling of certain foods was approved by the Executive Power. According to the Decree, all foods meeting the following conditions must have a special label on their front face:
• They have been packed in the absence of the customer.
• They are ready to be offered to consumers in the national territory.
• They are required by current regulations to have nutritional labeling.
• Sodium, sugars or fats have been added during the elaboration process or in the process of any of its ingredients.
• Final composition exceeds the content of sodium, fats or saturated fats values established in the decree.
Some foods are exempted from the obligation, such as those for medicinal use, for weight control diets by partial replacement of meals, dietary supplements and for athletes, formulas for infants and children up to 36 months and sweeteners.
Processors, importers and fractionators of packaged foods will be required to comply with the provisions of this Decree. The labels to be included must refer to the excess of sodium, fatty sugars or saturated fats and its design must be octagonal, with a black background and white letters. Likewise, the Ministry of Public Health is entrusted with the enforcement of the Decree and the application of sanctions for non-compliance.
The Decree establishes the maximum allowed values of each of the regulated substances, above which the special labeling must be placed. On the other hand, public and private schools as well as other centers of care and attention to children and families are encouraged to promote healthy eating habits.
Finally, a period of 18 months has been granted since the publication of the Decree so that the obliged subjects adapt to the provisions thereof.
Montevideo, August 2018