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Government Implements Standard on Pre-Packaged Food Labels for Baby Formula (China)

August 18, 2015

The Chinese government has implemented “GB 13432-2013: National Food Safety Standard Pre-Packaged Food Labels for Special Dietary Uses” defining the following specific regulations for baby formula:

  • Food labelling requirements, including prohibitions of
    • Claims on disease prevention and treatment function
    • Content claim and function claim of the essential ingredients in infant formula for infants aged 0-6 months
    • Claims like “Rich in XX”, “Multiplicity XX” and etc.
    • Images of baby and woman
    • “humanization”, “like Breastmilk” or other similar expressions
  • Prohibition to importing in bulk and then repacking baby-formula
  • Prohibition for baby formula producers to sell different brands from the same formula

Introduced on December 26, 2013, the standard replaces GB 13432-2004 and positions the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) as the main, central authority for food safety with shared regulatory competences to the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), which handles food imports and exports, and to the National Health and Family Planning Commission of Peoples Republic of China (NHPFC), which conducts risk assessments.

The standard also provides stricter sanctions for violators, including criminal liability and monetary fines that can be up to 20 or 30 times the value of the non-compliant products.

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