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CCPA sends notices to 6 firms for false COVID-19 protection claims, directs FSSAI to take action in honey adulteration allegations

This is not the first time the CCPA has had to resort to keeping firms in check for falsely claiming that their products are resistant to the novel coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2 as two similar notices were earlier sent to a mattress manufacturer and a paint company

December 11, 2020 / 04:08 PM IST
The Centre for Science and Environment has claimed that several major Indian brands are adulterating honey with sugar syrup

The Centre for Science and Environment has claimed that several major Indian brands are adulterating honey with sugar syrup

The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has sent notices to six companies for falsely claiming that their products are resistant to the novel coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2.

It has also directed the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to take appropriate action against adulteration of honey by certain brands.

The showcause notices have been sent to a liquid floor cleaner manufacturer, hand sanitiser manufacturer, silk dress company and a popular apparel company, The Times of India reported.

"Misleading claims can take consumers for a ride and particularly when there is so much of fear of COVID-19. We have taken this step to deter others from making any such claims without having evidence to substantiate them," an official told the paper.

Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Notably, this is not the first time the authority has had to resort to keeping firms in check. These six notices come after two similar ones were earlier sent to a mattress manufacturer and a paint company.

It direction to the FSSAI comes after the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) released a report last week claiming that several major Indian brands are adulterating honey with sugar syrup.

The companies, however, have refuted the claims, while the Consumer Affairs Ministry has expressed concern and asked the CCPA to look into the matter.

A statement from the CCPA said it had “referred the matter to the FSSAI in accordance with section 19(2) of the Consumer Protection Act 2019, after preliminary examination, to take appropriate action in the matter... and has offered to extend cooperation in investigation of the matter for taking class action as envisaged in section 10 of the Act”.

The CSE study found that samples from Apis Himalaya, Baidyanath, Dabur, Hitkari, Patanjali, and Zandu failed the NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) test, but Apis, Dabur, Emami (Zandu), and Patanjali have refuted the same.

--With inputs from PTI 
Moneycontrol News
first published: Dec 11, 2020 04:08 pm

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