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Archive for September 2013

Food security & regulations discussed at 7th essay of Food World India

The seventh edition of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s (FICCI) Food World India seminar commenced on Monday at Mumbai’s The Lalit. The theme of the seminar, which focussed on food security and regulations in the country, was ‘Feeding a billion: The role of the food processing industry’.

A report on the same was released at the event by Krishna Byre Gowda, Karnataka’s minister of agriculture and food processing; D K Samantaray, chief executive officer, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), and Siraj Hussain, secretary, ministry of food processing industries (MoFPI).

Addressing the stakeholders, Samantaray said, “When someone from the industry asked me what I know about oil, I answered that I know only about the oil I use for my car. Likewise, the only thing I know about food is the food I eat. And as FSSAI chief, my job is to ensure a better quality of food quality to the 120 billion people of India.”

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Equinox Labs introduces link between FSSA & pest control at India Pest

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India Pest 2013 – a three day event that took place in Hyderabad recently – was hosted by Stelson Quadros, secretary, Indian Pest Control Association (IPCA). Ashwin Bhadri, head, business relations, Equinox Laboratories, spoke about the introduction to the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA), 2006, and its co-relation to pest control and pest management. At the session, which was pest control experts, he spoke about the opportunities that lie within the pest control industry.

Speakers from Bayer and Intensive Pest Control Pvt Ltd made presentations. Jason Nash of Bayer moderated a panel discussion on bio-control in termite management. The panelists included Dr Shrinivas, Dr Ashish and Dr K Malla. Ganesh spoke about fumigation and its importance to the Indian economy. The highlight of the post-lunch session was a networking and stall visit, with closing comments by D D K Sharma, additional plant protection advisor, Plant Quarantine Division.

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Centre allowed to get junkfood guidelines examined by experts

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court today allowed the Centre’s plea that an expert committee would examine its recently-drafted guidelines on regulating sale of junk food and aerated drinks in and around schools premises.

“We have a seven-member expert committee. We would place the draft guidelines (on junk food) before the expert committee. Kindly give us four weeks time,” Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Rajeeve Mehra, appearing for the Centre, told a bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana.

The bench, also comprising Justice Pradeep Nandrajog, allowed the plea of the Centre and said that in the meantime, private parties like the Restaurants Association may file their representations to the expert committee on the issue.

During the hearing, senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for one of the parties, opposed the draft guidelines of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) saying that private firm AC Nielsen QRG-MARG Pvt Ltd cannot be allowed to frame them.

“At best, it (AC Nielsen QRG-MARG Pvt Ltd) can collect the data, but it cannot frame guidelines,” he said. Similar plea was taken up by another senior lawyer Ashok Desai who said that the Food Safety and Standards Act has a specific provision and a private body cannot do this.

“The term junk food is a subjective term. A food item may be junk food for one and may not be for others,” Singhvi said.

“Such submissions would derail the process. The issue raised in the PIL goes beyond the Act (Food Safety and Standards Act),” the bench said. “We are looking at health issues. Obesity and even hypertension are becoming prevalent among children. We are aping the West,” the ASG said.

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Govt silent on FSSAI report on milk quality

The State government and the department responsible for maintaining food safety standards in Nagaland, it appears, have chosen to keep mum on a recent Food Safety and Standards of Authority of India (FSSAI) survey report on milk quality in Nagaland. According to a Press Information Bureau (PIB) report released on August 28 last, Nagaland stood fourth among states not conforming to Food Safety and Standards Regulations, 2011 with regard to milk produced and sold here. The information, the PIB release stated, was provided by Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Ghulam Nabi Azad at the Rajya Sabha. Local dailies had also carried the PIB report subsequently.
“In the National Survey conducted by the FSSAI to ascertain the quality of milk throughout the country, 68.4% samples were found to be non-conforming to Food Safety and Standards Regulations, 2011,” the PIB release stated. Nagaland stood fourth (at 86 percent) in the state-wise details of non-conforming samples in the descending order of percentage with respect to the total samples collected in different states and union territories. The report did not specify what kinds of adulterants were found in the samples which deemed the samples as not conforming to safety standards.

Food Safety and Standard Authority of India to study street food hygiene, quality

MUMBAI: The Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) has received the Uttar Pradesh government’s go-ahead to study quality of street food in Lucknow and Varanasi, known for tunda kebabs, jalebi and rabri.
The six-month study would cost a few crores and look at the number of street vendors, their personal hygiene besides the number of people consuming the food along with quality of water used.

UP food commissioner would conduct the study, which would also look into the nutritional value of the street food by measuring its fat and mineral content.

“Indians love street food. But it is important to ensure it is prepared and served in hygienic settings. We had asked the UP government for permission to carry out the study to look at the street food quality in 15 districts, but have received clearance to carry it out in Lucknow and Varanasi,” said FSSAI director Pradip Chakraborty.

The decision to standardize street food came after a successful pilot project carried out in Kolkata. The city’s safety standards in its street food inspired the Union health ministry to emulate the model across India.

A recent survey of the ministry in 16 cities found over 90% street food unsafe for consumption.

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