On the occasion of World Food Day 2019 all the leading consumer organisations demanded from Food Safety and Standard Authority of Indian in united voice for eliminating Trans Fats from all the oils, fats and foods by or prior to 2022. The leading consumer organisations who are members of Consumer Coordination Council (CCC), New Delhi gathered and put forward a demand for the WFD, 2019.
Abhishek Srivastava, Chairman, CCC said that all the consumer organisations support this campaign of CUTS (Consumer Unity & Trust Society) to eliminate TFAs which will result in to better health of common consumers in the country.
Pawan Agrawal, Chief Executive Officer, FSSAI said that food safety and eliminating Trans Fats from India is a shared responsibility and there has to be a strong consumer demand to do so than only such regulatory reforms would yield desired outcomes. He underlined the important role of consumer organisations for ensuring trans fats free India.
George Cheriyan, Director, CUTS, said that according to the WHO, approximately 540,000 deaths globally and 75, 000 deaths in India each year can be attributed to intake of industrially produced TFAs. Recognizing the harmful health effects of trans-fats or Trans Fatty Acids (TFAs), countries and states worldwide are designing policies aimed at eliminating the availability of TFAs in the fats and oils and in all the food products and food supply in general. Mr. Cheriyan, being member of Central Advisory Committee of FSSAI till recent times, described initiatives of the FSSAI like “Eat Right Movement”, “Aaj se Thoda Kam (Today onwards, a little less)” and fixing the target to bring down TFAs by 2 per cent by weight by January 1, 2022, which is a year before the target fixed by WHO. Ms. S. Saroja, Director CAG, Chennai & Council member of Consumers International, UK has said that though FSSAI has set the trans-fats limit of 2percent in fats, oils and foods but the monitoring mechanism and testing methods need to be evolved for effective compliance of the same.
Madhu Sudan Sharma, Senior Programme Officer, CUTS said that CUTS has Kick started a national wide campaign for eliminating the TFAs from all foods and oils, It is reaching out to the key stakeholders across India, working with schools, consumer organisations, Industry associations, Indian Medical Associations, FSSAI and Ministry of health.
On the occasion of the WFD, 2019, CUTS launched a special social media advocacy programme to eliminate TFAs and a series of street plays and signature campaign in leading schools and with common consumers across Rajasthan. Total 3000 people would be reached out during this week with the only ask of Eliminating Trans Fats from India.