14 May 2019 | News
The guidelines take into account the carcinogenic effect of newsprint ink and dyes on human life.
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Off late, FSSAI has issued an advisory on the use of certain materials for food packaging. It has banned the use of newspapers, recycled papers, and plastic sheets to wrap food. This news is the limelight as there has been a slight change in the date of enforcing the order. The plan of action which was slated to start early has been extended to July 1st.
The guidelines take into account the carcinogenic effect of newsprint ink and dyes on human life. The possibility of printing inks containing harmful colours, pigmentation, binders, additives, and preservatives is quite high. Besides, the presence of pathogenic microorganisms used in the newspaper also poses a high risk to human health. The study conducted by FSSAI in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Packaging, Mumbai and the National Test House, Kolkata concluded that the food samples collected from the unorganized sector such as small eateries, tea stalls, etc where piping hot food is served in newspapers, plastic sheets, recycled sheets among others were contaminated by the packaging materials.
The new packaging regulations would raise the bar of food safety in India to the next level. However, because of the sudden disclosure, the implementation of the plan seems to be difficult for the unorganized sector. Thus, the officials have given sufficient time to the plan of action which is slated to be 1st July, 2019.
Ashwin Bhadri, CEO of Equinox Labs - A leading Food, Air, and Water Testing Company exclaims that “The advisory initiated by FSSAI holds a lot of importance as this common packing method has been practiced since many years in India. There has been a failure to understand the aftermath of such harmful packaging. The inks used for newspapers contain lead, cadmium, and graphite that can have an adverse effect on health. Higher lead levels in children can reduce their IQ level and can also affect the growth and development of the child. The presence of harmful chemicals can cause digestive problems, obesity, and also lead to severe toxicity”.
Good packaging will only ensure that there will be no change or side effects on the food by packaging and the food will have an extended shelf-life. As the primary objective of packaging is to protect food items from microbiological, chemical, atmospherically contamination, proper packaging should be practiced. Besides, the requirements related to packaging materials, FSSAI has also stated overall migration and specific migration limits of contaminants for plastic packaging materials.`