On the 14th of October, 2016 the Food and Food Standards (Fortification) Regulations Statutory Instrument 120 of 2016 were published in the Government Gazette. The regulations require that certain foods imported or commercially produced must be fortified. Food fortification as defined in the regulations means, “the addition of one or more essential nutrients to a food whether or not it is normally contained in the food, for the purposes of preventing and correcting a demonstrated deficiency of one or more nutrients in the population or specific population groups”. The food stuffs listed in the regulations which require fortification are “maize meal, salt, wheat, sugar and edible vegetable oil”.
The regulations have an extensive provision on the requirements of labelling of the listed food products. “Label” as defined in the regulations means, “a tag, brand, mark, pictorial or other descriptive matter, written, printed, stencilled, marked, impressed or attached to a container of any food products”. The regulations require that, “all packaged food shall be labelled in a manner that is true and accurate to distinguish the character, nature, composition, quality, safety, nutritive value and other properties, and in accordance with the standards for the particular food”. The labels must bear the word “FORTIFIED” immediately after the name of the food so that the word can easily be seen. The regulations list the minimum information on labels of packed foods “(i) name of the food (ii) licence number, name and physical address of importer or manufacturer, distributor, seller or exporter (iii) lot or batch number (iv) proportions of the principal ingredients of the product (v) presence of the fortifying agent, including the name and level of each agent and (vi) presence of additives, including the name and function of each additive.” Any product which is displayed or advertised without adhering to these requirements may be removed by authorities and the owner may be fined or imprisoned.