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China CFDA Clarifies Edible Blend Oil Label Requirements

  •   6 Feb 2018
  •    Yilia Ye
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    • CFDA has clarified that for edible blend oil, contents of the valuable oil with special emphasis shall be indicated on the label.

    On Feb. 2, 2018, China CFDA replied to an issue raised by Beijing food and drug administration regarding the labeling requirements of Lvbao Edible Blend Oil (sunflower & olive), clarifying that enterprises shall indicate the content of the valuable oil emphasized. Labels should follow the requirements laid down in article in GB 7718-2011, that is,

    “In case that the labeling of a food or the product information places special emphasis on the presence of one or more valuable and characterizing ingredients or components, the amount of the emphasized ingredients or components added or their amount in the final product shall be presented.”

    Currently, it is common industry practice to keep oil proportions secret. Manufacturers tend to name or label the product after the most valuable oil used in the blend, although in many cases the concentration of that oil is negligible in comparison to cheaper oils used in the blend. This practice is profitable for the industry and hugely damaging to consumer rights. However on Mar. 2017, a consumer won a landmark civil case in Beijing after taking legal action against a supermarket for selling non-compliant Mighty Edible Blend Oil. The amount of olive oil was not indicated on the label although it was specially emphasized. Finally the court upheld the consumer’s appeal because the label violates national food safety standards.

    Lack of a related national food safety standard is the primary reason that lead to this chaotic market environment. However, it is now expected that a national "Edible Blend Oil Standard” will be published this year, in which a key point will be the requirement to indicate the relative concentrations/ratios of oil on the label.

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