Colombia · Decision · Judicial

Carlos Mario Salgado Morales v Ministry of Health (Case No. 25000-23-41-000-2022-00942-01)

Issue:

Whether the technical parameters on front-of-pack labeling (FOPL) established by Resolution No. 810 of 2021 comply with the requirements laid out in Law No. 2120 of 2021, and specifically that they are "based on the best scientific evidence available and free of conflict of interest".

Summary:

In this lawsuit, the plaintiff, Carlos Mario Salgado Morales, asked the Council of State to order the Ministry of Health and Social Protection to issue a new regulation laying out the technical parameters of front-of-pack nutritional labeling (FOPL, in Spanish “etiquetado frontal de advertencia”). Specifically, it asked that the new regulation be “based on the best scientific evidence available and free of conflict of interest”, as foreseen by Article 5 of Law No. 2120 of 2021.

The State Council ruled in favor of the plaintiff, determining that the technical parameters for FOPL outlined in Resolution No. 810 of 2021 did not satisfy the requirement to establish a FOPL technical implementation regulation within one year, as stipulated by Law No. 2120 of 2021. Notably, Resolution No. 810 was enacted prior to the passage of Law 2120. The State Council emphasized that, consistent with its judgments in analogous situations, a regulation adopted before the relevant law cannot be deemed to have met the legal obligation for the enactment of an implementing regulation.

Accordingly, the State Council ruled that the Ministry of Health and Social Protection must adopt a new regulation that establishes the technical parameters of FOPL (i.e. defining its shape, content, figure, proportion, symbols, texts, maximum values, colors, size and location) according to the criteria stipulated in Article 5 of Law No. 2120 of 2021. It ordered that the new regulation be issued within two months from the publication of the judgement.