Mexico Provides Food Industry Labeling Flexibility
Mexico’s Federal Consumer Attorney’s Office (PROFECO) and other Mexican agencies have recently agreed to provide the food industry with more flexibility to comply with requirements in the Official Mexican Standard NOM-051 (“NOM-051”) that become effective on April 1, 2021. NOM-051 sets forth new warning labeling requirements for all prepackaged food and non-alcoholic beverages sold within Mexico.
As we have reported in the past, in late 2020, Mexico’s NOM-051 began requiring manufacturers to place octagonal warning symbols in consumer products that state “Excess Calories,” “Excess Saturated Fat,” “Excess Sugars,” and “Contains Caffeine – Avoid in Children.” NOM-051 imposed a number of other requirements that were slated to become effective on April 1, 2021. For example, prior to the PROFECO announcement, Clause 18.104.22.168.8 (requiring that all added sugar ingredients be grouped in the ingredient list) and Clause 4.1.5 (prohibiting prepackaged products with FOP warnings from bearing cartoon characters, animations, celebrities, athletes or pets, interactive elements (e.g., such as space games or digital downloads) that appeal to children) were to become effective on April 1, 2021.
PROFECO has stated that between April 1, 2021 to May 31, 2021, Mexican authorities will allow companies’ products that comply with already-effective FOP labeling requirements to continue to be marketed even if they do not comply with other requirements that would have otherwise become effective April 1, 2021.