FSSAI to use Fortification tool to carve nutritious India

FSSAI National Summit on Food Fortification

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has now decided to take the nutrition’s batten to the finish line. With this view, the food regulatory body of India has oganised a two day summit on the theme ‘National Summit On Fortification of Food’ on 16-17 October, 2016 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
The event was graced by Union Minister of Consumers Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan as Chief Guest along with Anupriya Patel, Minister of State, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Dignitaries were accompanied by Ashish Bhauguna, Chairperson, FSSAI, Dr Hameed Nuru, Country Director, WFP, Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Managing Trustee, Sir Dorabjee Tata Trust and Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Jagat Prakash Nadda.
Over 70 per cent of the Indian population still less than 50 per cent of the recommended dietary allowances of micronutrients, states the report of FSSAI. It further added that micronutrient malnutrition continues to remain a serious health problem that demands coordinated and massive efforts at the national level. The economic returns from investing in nutrition are high and as per the records, 16 rupees are generated for every rupee invested.
In order to address the problem, FSSAI has formulated comprehensive regulation on fortification of foods namely ‘Food Safety Standard (Fortification of Foods) Regulations, 2016’. These regulations set the standards for food fortification and encourage the production, manufacture, distribution, sale and consumption of fortified food.
While addressing the gathering, Chief Guest, Paswan stated, “With our elaborated efforts, we have managed to conquer hunger in our country but now, we have to channelise our forces to knock off ‘Malnutrition’. FSSAI has scouted a very innovative way to tackle this problem with the help of a tool called ‘Fortification of Food’ and government of India supports them for their initiative. Fortification is a perfect weapon which can put malnutrition on a blaze.”
The minister also commented on misleading advertising business which he feels has become a common culture of the country. “I feel that strong action should be taken on the companies that are actively carrying this culture. People involved in this practice should be put under a legal scanner as such practices hinder the progress of the country.”
Echoing the same voice, Anupriya Patel also opined, “In India, fortification of food will act as catalyst for our young generation. Globally, food fortification has been used since 1920s. It provides a nutritional benefit without requiring consumers to change eating habits or purchase patterns. In developing world, commonly fortified foods include staple products such as salt, wheat flour, maize flour, rice, milk, oil and sugar. The step taken by FSSAI is definitely going to change the face of country’s health in the coming years.” During the ceremony, dignitaries also released a book on fortification and launched fortification logo as well.

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