Fake "eco" labeling prohibited in Azerbaijan

By Amina Nazarli

Fake labeling of food products with a trustworthy eco markings can be put for trial in Azerbaijan unless necessary certification is passed.

The State Committee on Standardization, Metrology and Patents approved a standard prohibiting to label food products with eco-friendly markings in the country.

An eco label is a trustworthy symbol indicating that manufacturers can put on the products to demonstrate that these products significantly safer for the environment than other ones.

New standard will put an end to doubts, since labeling products with signs such as a “grown using only organic fertilizer,” “grown without pesticides,” “grown without the use of fertilizers,” “fortified,” “no preservatives” is allowed only if a manufacturer has a relevant certificate.

Moreover, the products cannot have notes, which can confuse consumers concerning the nature, identity, composition, quantity, expiration date or storage of origin, and method of manufacture of the food product.

The legislation also prohibits to specify the products with special names, including those of healing nature, which they do not have, as well as indicate the ingredients with the product lacks in its composition.

Flavored ingredients in the products should be specified in the package. For instance, products with unnatural flavor should have a note that they are flavored.

In addition, the standard prohibits giving the same name to different foods.

Azerbaijan, rich in natural resources prohibited GMOs in food production and last April's amendments to the Criminal Code provides for a fine from 3,000 (over $1,900) to 9,000 (over $5,800) manats for import or sale of genetically modified plants.

Despite enactment of the law prohibiting to sell GMO products in Azerbaijan, these dangerous foods still exist in the market, making up 98 percent of soy, 50 percent of tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, watermelons and beets, as well as 65 percent of products for adults and 80 percent for children.

The national supermarkets put on the shelves products with “Non-GMO” label, and experts warned that these signs do not actually mean absence of transgenes in these products.

This important move in the consumer market filled the Azerbaijani consumers with a hope necessary of order in the national market, enabling the people to make a right choice while buying products.

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Amina Nazarli is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @amina_nazarli

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