On July 24, 2019, the Health Commission of the Chamber of Deputies approved the draft opinion that amends and adds various provisions to the General Health Law concerning overweight, obesity, and front labeling of food and non-alcoholic beverages.

The approved amendments to the General Health Law have, as its main purpose, the right to health protection, as well as the constitutional interest of providing individuals and society with an adequate state of health.

Particularly, the amendments approved by the Health Commission regarding the front labelling of food and non-alcoholic beverages are mainly focused on the following aspects:

  1. Front labelling warnings shall be included separately and independently from the declaration of ingredients and nutritional information; The front labelling warnings shall indicate whether the product exceeds the maximum limits for energy content, added sugars, saturated fat, sodium, and other critical nutrients and ingredients established by the relevant regulatory provisions;
  2. Critical nutrients shall be declared. Critical nutrients are those components of a diet which may be a risk factor for chronic non-communicable diseases. These critical nutrients will be determined by the Ministry of Health;
  3. The Ministry of Health is empowered to order the inclusion of legends or pictograms when deemed necessary;
  4. It is expressly provided  that the Ministry of Health shall consider the international treaties and conventions “on labelling,” of  which Mexico is a party, in order to determine the requirements with which food and non-alcoholic beverages labeling must comply;
  5. Labels or back labels must include nutritional information that is easy to understand, truthful, direct, simple, and visible.

Amendments to the General Health Law, approved by the Health Commission, must be submitted to the Plenary of the Chamber of Deputies to continue with its legislative process, and if necessary, be published in the Federal Official Gazette.

As consequence of the entry into force of the amendments and additions to the General Health Law, the draft opinion establishes that the national executive power will have 180 days to make the corresponding regulatory adjustments.

At Hogan Lovells we are ready to advise you and address any matters related to this situation.

Photo of Ernesto Algaba Ernesto Algaba

With more than 20 years of experience in the Life Sciences industry under his belt, Ernesto Algaba leads the Life Sciences practice for Hogan Lovells in Mexico.

He focuses on health law and regulatory compliance matters for the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries. He also has broad experience in the cosmetics, food, alcohol, and tobacco, and consumer products industries. His wealth of knowledge covers matters relating to Mexican Official Standards (NOMs), Consumer Protection Law, overland transport, foreign trade, and contracts.

Ernesto tackles clients’ pressing problems by handling their needs to meet expectations. He advises clients on planning and development of innovative projects and on strategic business decisions with respect to the launching of new products, restructuring of activities and businesses, approval and marketing authorization pathways and standards for regulated and nonregulated products, labeling and advertising issues, product liability, and highly specialized regulatory compliance matters. The Latin American Corporate Counsel Association included Ernesto on its 2015 list of recommended lawyers for administrative law.

Photo of Cecilia Stahlhut Cecilia Stahlhut

Cecilia Stahlhut Espinosa represents life sciences and consumer products companies in Mexico, with a focus on health and consumer law matters. She works with clients throughout all stages of complex and innovative projects. Her years of experience as external counsel to many life sciences companies offer her unique insight into the industry.

She has a wealth of experience in regulatory drug matters (pharmaceutical), medical devices and equipment, research and development, biotechnology, compliance of new product technologies, and general health regulatory compliance. Cecilia has particular experience in the regulation of cosmetics, food, alcohol, tobacco, and consumer products in Mexico.

She has also participated in the planning and adoption of regulatory strategies for various companies, with respect to product advertising and labeling, product liability, marketing of high-tech products, and the launching of new products. She also advises clients on sophisticated regulatory structures and the restructuring of business models and operations, clinical research projects, approval and marketing authorization pathways, standards for regulated products, and challenging labeling and advertising issues.

Cecilia has reviewed promotional materials for an extensive range of products and advised clients on promotional activities and compliance of regulations regarding interactions with health care professionals and related organizations.

Recently, Cecilia was seconded to a major orphan drug company to advise on regulatory framework applicable to orphan drugs as well as the ongoing business activities of the client, including contracts, advertising, marketing, pharmacovigilance, and health-corporate governance.