Irina Volynets, founder of the National Parents Committee social movement, has proposed new regulations which would force fast food companies to apply health warning labels to their products, and provide detailed ingredient information.
In a letter addressed to the health minister, the chief of Russia’s federal consumer protection agency, and the Duma’s health protection committee, Volynets said that fast food contains large amounts of trans fats, carcinogens, salt, and sugars harmful to children. She proposes mandating a label reading “Contains harmful to health” taking up at least 17 percent of the package, as well as pictures with health warnings about possible impact to health, on applicable products.
“In order to best ensure the rights and legitimate interests of children, preserve their health and the health of the people of Russia as a whole, I request that you initiate the development and implementation of a regulation that will oblige manufacturers to indicate the detailed composition of products on packaging, including at point of sale, and to place warnings and pictures on relevant products indicating that the consumption of these products is hazardous to health,” her appeal reads.
Russia already has a similar law relating to tobacco products, requiring a health warning reading “This tobacco product will harm your health” to cover 30 percent of the front side of the package. Authorities mandated the labels in 2012, and then began gradually increasing excise taxes, after a massive rise in tobacco consumption after the collapse of the USSR, particularly among women. These and other measures have helped bring smoking rates down substantially, from a high of 35 percent in 2006 to about 22.5 percent by the late 2010s.