Apex child rights body National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) on Wednesday asked Mondelez India-owned brand Bournvita to withdraw all "misleading" advertisements, packaging and labels after a video claimed that the health drink has high sugar content.
In a notice to the confectionery major, the NCPCR also asked it to send within seven days a detailed explanation or report to apprise the panel on the matter.
The notice came after a social media influencer sparked a row by posting a video alleging that Bournvita has high sugar content.
Though the influencer, Revant Himatsingka, deleted the video from all platforms after being served a legal notice by Mondelez India, it had already raked up around 12 million views and was widely circulated.
The NCPCR said it has received a complaint alleging that Bournvita promotes itself as a health drink improving children's growth and development but it contains high percentage of sugar and other substances that might impact a child's health.
In the notice to Deepak Iyer, president-India, Mondelez International, the child rights body said," The commission in this regard observes that the product manufactured by your company is misleading the customers through it product packaging and advertisements. The commission observes that your product's labelling, packaging, display and advertisement claims are misleading for the general public."
The product's labelling and packaging also fails to acknowledge the correct information regarding the contents used in the Bournvita health drink, the NCPCR said.
It asked Mondelez International to review and withdraw all "misleading advertisements, packaging and labels, and further send a detailed explanation/report to apprise the commission in the said matter within seven days".
Responding to the viral videos, Bournvita had earlier said that over the last seven decades, it has "earned the trust of consumers in India by being a scientifically formulated product that adheres to quality standards and complies with the laws of the land".
"We would again like to reinforce that the formulation has been scientifically crafted by a team of nutritionists and food scientists to offer the best of taste and health. All our claims are verified and transparent and all ingredients have regulatory approvals. All the necessary nutritional information is mentioned on the pack for consumers to make informed choices," a Bournvita spokesperson had said.