A law to label foods as ultra-processed came into force in Argentina on Saturday, although it initially only covers a limited range of products and will not apply to all until the end of 2023.
The law was passed in October 2021 and regulated in March this year. Food producers were given 180 days to comply, but now further extensions have been given to around 240 businesses which produce 11,000 products, said the National Food Institute.
Ultra-processed foods must display an octagonal black label that occupies at least 5% of the surface of the packaging, and warn of high content of sugar, potassium, saturated farts or calories, among other things.
“The more processed the food, the more labels it has. There are many products that this will not apply to, and others that it will,” said Sandra Tirado, of the Ministry of Health, who said that some products, “can lower their salt and sugar content in order to not require a label.”
The foods that the law applies to may not advertise using images of children or celebrities, or offer free gifts or surprises.
There are similar rules to these already applied in Uruguay, Chile, Peru and Mexico.
66% of the population of Argentina is overweight, with 32% suffering from obesity and 42% from high blood pressure.