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Tuna Processors Subjected To New Labeling Laws

The Ecuadorian tuna industry is likely to be strongly affected by the changing of food labeling laws by the country’s authorities. The new regulations will impact the spending of tuna processors through the cost of production and packaging. Ecuador is the world’s third largest tuna processing nation. 

 

In Ecuador, the Agency for Health Regulation and Control will issue new certificates that will regulate changes to the labels on food products in the country. The tuna industry will be significantly affected as most of its products are produced with unadaptable lithographed technology packed with a shelf-life of two years.

Tuna entrepreneur, Bruno Leone, said that with the new rules all tuna products in storage would be lost. The cost of the packaging for the tuna industry represents a significant 15 to 18 percent of the total cost of production. The industry has requested a report of the procedure used to modify the labels.

Lithograph technology used for tuna cans means that artwork on the cans cannot easily be changed, and the new labeling laws coming into action will mean that tuna producers will have no other option but to discard a substantial amount of stock. The government has said that the change in labels will be enforced on around 45,000 consumer products.

The changes come after alarming results from research showed that 80 percent of consumer products in the country exceed the fat, sugar or salt content that is displayed on the packaging. Authorities believe this can create major problems. 

The head of the Ecuadorian Standardization Institute, Agustin Ortiz, said that the move should not come as a surprise to the industry as authorities have been working on it for five years. He insisted that the customer has a right to know what they are consuming.

The new regulations set 12 prohibitions, which in the main refer to the promoting of the product itself by meeting all the nutritional requirements for a person. The displaying of logos, foundations and federations will also be regulated to ensure the quality and composition of the product.

Bruno Leone added that no one can doubt that any effort made to improve health is laudable, but this should be done to international standards as the new regulations will be of huge detriment to the country’s tuna industry.