Government should act on FMCG firms using ‘misleading’ ads


The Supreme Court emphasized the need for the Centre to take action against FMCG companies employing misleading advertisements, particularly those targeting vulnerable consumers like families with babies and schoolchildren.

GS-02 (Government policies and interventions)


  • Concerns were raised regarding the health implications of misleading advertisements, with specific mention of reports alleging higher sugar content in Nestle’s baby food products sold in India and other countries.
  • The court widened the scope of the case by including the Ministries of Consumer Affairs and Information and Broadcasting as parties, in addition to the AYUSH Ministry already represented.

Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG): 

  • These are packaged goods that are consumed or sold at regular and small intervals which constitutes 50% of household and personal care products.
    • Healthcare accounts for 31-32%.
    • Food and beverage accounts for the remaining 18-19%.
  • FMCG is the fourth largest sector in the Indian economy which provides employment to around 3 million people accounting for approximately 5% of the total factory Employment in India.
  • It is an important contributor to India’s GDP growth.

Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) :

  • The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) was established w.e.f. 24th July 2020 under Section 10 of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution.
  • Objective: To promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers as a class.
  • It is empowered to conduct investigations into violations of consumer rights and institute complaints/prosecution, order recalls of unsafe goods and services, order discontinuation of unfair trade practices and misleading advertisements, and impose penalties on manufacturers/endorsers/publishers of misleading advertisements.
  • It also acts to prevent unfair trade practices and ensure that no person engages in unfair trade practices.
  • Composition:
    • Chief Commissioner as head.
    • Two other commissioners as members — one of whom will deal with matters relating to goods while the other will look into cases relating to services.

Consumer Protection Act,2019:

  • The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 was replaced by the new the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 with an intention to widen its scope in addressing consumer concerns.
  • The Act came into force in July 2020.
  • It aims to empower consumers to help them in protecting their rights through various notified rules and provisions.
  • The new Act administers offences such as providing false information regarding the quality or quantity of a good or service, and misleading advertisements.
  • It also specifies action to be taken if goods and services are found “dangerous, hazardous or unsafe”.