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SIAL Shanghai|Ban on “Fill Light” on Farm Produce Frees Consumers of Worries

2024.02.28

SIAL Shanghai observes that in the past, farm produce vendors often use extra lights to make meat, vegetables and fruits look better than they actually are. They can’t do that anymore. The new “Administrative Regulation on the Sales of Farm Produce to Ensuring Safety” came into force on December 1, 2023. In its light, market supervision departments at all levels started a round of check in agricultural wholesale market, supermarkets, fresh fruits and vegetables stores and other agricultural products sales venues to eliminate remaining “fill light” that may mislead consumers by giving a false image of the produce’s quality. Unqualified vendors were demanded to take immediate action to remove the “fill light” and were listed for follow-up check. Fruitful results have been achieved through the efforts.

According to incomplete statistics, more than 300,000 sellers have been checked the first month the ban was implemented. There is unanimous response from the people that with all the lights gone they have less doubt in the produce they buy.

Spokesperson from the State Administration for Market Regulation said that it had become a popular marketing strategy for vendors to add “beauty filters” to their products. Though it won’t affect the produce’s shelf life, it infringes on consumers’ rights and interests and undermines market fairness by covering up flaws with lights and influencing consumers’ judgement.

It is clearly stipulated in the regulation that "vendors shall not use lights and other facilities to alter the true color and other sensory properties of edible agricultural products to mislead consumers in their perception”. According to the regulation, sellers that do not comply with the provisions will be warned by market supervision and management departments at or above county level. Those who refuse to make a change will be fined 5,000 to 30,000 yuan.

What kind of lighting facilities are compliant with the requirements then? The Building Lighting Design Standards (GB 50034-2013) clearly sets out the illumination standard values for all kinds of public buildings including supermarkets, grocery store and farmers’ market, which can be referred to in setting the lights for farm produce stands. Furthermore, the regulation should be supplemented by measures adopted based on local needs.

SIAL Shanghai learned that in the future, the State Administration for Market Regulation will step up its inspection to effectively safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of consumers to win more trust from the people.

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