50 Weird Facts About Human Beings !

17,April, 2014 Leave a comment

While sitting at your desk make clockwise circles with your right foot. (go ahead no one will see you) While doing this, draw the number “6″ in the air with your right hand.

Your foot will change direction – that is a fact. Pretty interesting, huh?

Keep on reading..



1. People with higher number of moles tend to live longer than people with lesser number of moles.

3. When filming summer scenes in winter, actors suck on ice cubes just before the camera rolls – it cools their mouths so their breath doesn’t condense in the cold air.

4. Thinking about your muscles can make you stronger.

5. Grapefruit scent will make middle aged women appear six  years younger to men. The perception is not reciprocal and the grapefruit scent on men has no effect on women’s perception.

6. The world’s youngest parents were 8 and 9 and lived in China in 1910.

7. The colder the room you sleep in, the better the chances are that you’ll have a bad dream.

8. There are more people alive today than have ever died.

9. Women’s hair is about half the diameter of men’s hair

10. Women blink twice as many times as men do.

11. The average person who stops smoking requires one hour less sleep a night.

12. Laughing lowers levels of stress hormones and strengthens the immune system. Six-year-olds laugh an average of 300 times a day. Adults only laugh 15 to 100 times a day.

13. Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.

14. The human heart creates enough pressure while pumping to squirt blood 30 feet!

15. The brain operates on the same amount of power as 10-watt light bulb. The cartoon image of a light bulb over your head when a great thought occurs isn’t too far off the mark. Your brain generates as much energy as a small light bulb even when you’re sleeping.

16. The brain is much more active at night than during the day.

17. The brain itself cannot feel pain. While the brain might be the pain center when you cut your finger or burn yourself, the brain itself does not have pain receptors and cannot feel pain.

18. The fastest growing nail is on the middle finger. And the nail on the middle finger of your dominant hand will grow the fastest of all. Why is not entirely known, but nail growth is related to the length of the finger, with the longest fingers growing nails the fastest and shortest the slowest.

19. The lifespan of a human hair is 3 to 7 years on average.

20. Human hair is virtually indestructible. Aside from it’s flammability, human hair decays at such a slow rate that it is practically non-disintegrative. Hair cannot be destroyed by cold, change of climate, water, or other natural forces and it is resistant to many kinds of acids and corrosive chemicals.

21. The acid in your stomach is strong enough to dissolve razorblades. Hydrochloric acid, the type found in your stomach, is not only good at dissolving the pizza you had for dinner but can also eat through many types of metal.

22. The surface area of a human lung is equal to a tennis court.

23. Sneezes regularly exceed 100 mph.

24. Approximately 75% of human waste is made of water.

25. The average person expels flatulence 14 times each day. Even if you’d like to think you’re too dignified to pass gas, the reality is that almost everyone will at least a few times a day.

26. Earwax production is necessary for good ear health. While many people find earwax to be disgusting, it’s actually a very important part of your ear’s defense system. It protects the delicate inner ear from bacteria, fungus, dirt and even insects. It also cleans and lubricates the ear canal.

27. Babies are always born with blue eyes.  The melanin in a newborn’s eyes often needs time after birth to be fully deposited or to be darkened by exposure to ultraviolet light, later revealing the baby’s true eye color.

28. Every human spent about half an hour as a single cell.

29. After eating too much, your hearing is less sharp.

30. Women are born better smellers than men and remain better smellers over life.

31. Your nose can remember 50,000 different scents.

32. Nails and hair do not continue to grow after we die. They do appear longer when we die, however, as the skin dehydrates and pulls back from the nail beds and scalp.

33. By the age of 60, most people will have lost about half their taste buds. Perhaps you shouldn’t trust your grandma’s cooking as much as you do.

34. Your eyes are always the same size from birth but your nose and ears never stop growing.

35. By 60 years of age, 60-percent of men and 40-percent of women will snore.

36. Monday is the day of the week when the risk of heart attack is greatest.  A ten year study in Scotland found that 20% more people die of heart attacks on Mondays than any other day of the week. Researchers theorize that it’s a combination of too much fun over the weekend with the stress of going back to work that causes the increase.

37. Provided there is water, the average human could survive a month to two months without food depending on their body fat and other factors.

38. Over 90% of diseases are caused or complicated by stress.

39. A human head remains conscious for about 15 to 20 seconds after it is been decapitated. While it might be gross to think about, the blood in the head may be enough to keep someone alive and conscious for a few seconds after the head has been separated from the body, though reports as to the accuracy of this are widely varying.

40. Babies are born with 300 bones, but by adulthood the number is reduced to 206.

41. We are about 1 cm taller in the morning than in the evening.

42. It takes twice as long to lose new muscle if you stop working out than it did to gain it. Lazy people out there shouldn’t use this as motivation to not work out, however. It’s relatively easy to build new muscle tissue and get your muscles in shape, so if anything, this fact should be motivation to get off the couch and get moving.

43. Tears and mucus contain an enzyme (lysozyme) that breaks down the cell wall of many bacteria.

44. It is not possible to tickle yourself. Even the most ticklish among us do not have the ability to tickle ourselves.

45. The width of your arm-span stretched out is the length of your whole body. While not exact down to the last millimeter, your armspan is a pretty good estimator of your height.

46. Humans are the only animals to produce emotional tears.

47. Women burn fat more slowly than men, by a rate of about 50 calories a day. Most men have a much easier time burning fat than women. Women, because of their reproductive role, generally require a higher basic body fat proportion than men, and as a result their bodies don’t get rid of excess fat at the same rate as men.

48. Koalas and primates are the only animals with unique fingerprints. Humans, apes and koalas are unique in the animal kingdom due to the tiny prints on the fingers of their hands.

49. One human hair can support 3.5 ounces. That’s about the weight of two full size candy bars, and with hundreds of thousands of hairs on the human head, makes the tale of Rapunzel much more plausible.

50. Cna yuo raed tihs? I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs forwrad it

+ 51. It cost 7 million dollars to build the Titanic and 200 million to make a film about it.

Categories: NEWS

FSSAI initiates online licencing; Many states yet to start the process

16,April, 2014 Leave a comment

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 08:00 IST
Abhitash Singh, Mumbai

                     After the fourth extension to the licencing and registration deadline, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) asked all the states in the country to initiate online licencing and registration, in order to reduce the inconvenience caused to food business operators (FBO).

Some states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Goa, Chandigarh and Punjab have already started the online registration and licencing of FBO and succeeded in issuing more licences and registered more FBO within a few months of its commencement than they did manually.

However, states like Odisha, Bihar, West Bengal, Karnataka and Jharkhand, and the Union Territory of Puducherry have not commenced online licencing and registration due to a combination of reasons, including the lack of manpower and inadequate infrastructure.

States on track
Tamil Nadu’s joint commissioner, food, said, “In Tamil Nadu, online registration and licencing of FBO started in June 2013. To date, our food safety officers (FSO) have issued licenses to 15,488 FBO and registered around 57,312 FBO.”

“We are also in the process of providing tablets to FSO, so that they can complete the work as fast as possible. They can expect to receive the tablets by the first week of May, and when they do, they can go to the FBO’s premises and register or issue licences to them, as the case may be on the spot,” he added.

K B Sankhe, joint commissioner, food, Maharashtra, said the western state was the leader in manual licencing and registration, and had also secured the top rank in online licencing and registration.

“We have issued licences to over 40,000 FBO across Maharashtra and registered around 80,000 FBO online. Our FSO are training the FBO about the importance of having licence/being registered. Awareness camps are being organised on a regular basis to educate the FBO about online registration and licencing. The daily monitoring of designated officers’ and FSOs’ targets is undertaken by the enforcement director and commissioner,” he added.

Hemant Rao, food safety commissioner, Uttar Pradesh Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), informed that online licencing and registration commenced in November 2013.

“To date, we have registered and issued licences to one lakh FBO. We are providing the FBO brochures containing information about the procedure to register/obtain licences online. The state food safety department relentlessly undertakes grassroot-level trips to uniformly implement the system across all the 72 districts in the state,” he added.

H G Koshia, food safety commissioner, Food and Drugs Controller Administration (FDCA), Gujarat, said, “Online registration and licencing is complicated for many FBO, but we have been organising awareness and seminar programmes for them on a regular basis to make them understand the process.”

“Therefore, FBO in Gujarat are now registering and obtaining licences online without any difficulty. To date, we have issued licences to about 25,000 FBOs and registered about 60,000 FBO online,” he added.

Anil Kumar, additional commissioner, food, Food and Drug Administration, Kerala, said, “In Kerala, the online licencing and registration process has been very smooth.”

“To date, we have issued licences to over 19,000 FBO and registered 59,600 FBO online,” he added.

Ashish Kumar Singh, designated officer, Bihar Food and Drug Administration, said, “Due to the lack of manpower and infrastructure, we have not commenced online licencing and registration of FBO. We expected FSSAI’s support and guidance, but we have not got any support from them.”

L R Nampui, designated officer, Assam Food and Drug Administration, said, “We haven’t started the online licencing and registration process due to inadequate infrastructure facilities. We are in the process of procuring computers and Internet connections, and have appointed 22 FSOs to help in the online process.”

“Of the 27 districts in the state, seven have been identified for the first phase of the online licencing and registration process, which would commence immediately. We are training the newly-appointed FSO. The online registration and licencing process would commence either on April 29, 2014 or in the first week of May,” he added.

Dr Vikas Patnaik, joint commissioner, food, Odisha Food and Drug Administration, said, “Odisha has not started online licencing and registration yet. But we are training the designated officers and FSO to issue licences and register the FBOs. We expect to start the online registration and licencing of FBO by May 20, 2014.”

Karthik A N, licencing officer, Puducherry Food and Drug Administration, informed, “Fifteen days ago, we commenced the clearance of our backlog. The online registration and licencing of FBO hasn’t commenced yet.”

“We have appointed data entry operators to prepare the list of FBO in the state. Once that is done, we would start the online registration and licencing of FBOs. We are completing the backlog under the guidance of the National Informatics Centre (NIC),” he added.

Categories: NEWS

சமயபுரம் பகுதியில் உள்ள கடைகளில் ஆய்வு

16,April, 2014 Leave a comment

டவுன் பஞ்சாயத்து செயல் அலுவலர் மல்லிகா அர்ச்சுணன், வட்டார உணவு பாதுகாப்பு அலுவலர் கென்னடி ஆகியோர் தலைமையில் சமயபுரம் பகுதியில் உள்ள கடைகளில் ஆய்வு செய்து காலாவதியான பேன்டா குளிர்பான பாட்டில்கள் 300 லிட்டரும், தடைசெய்யப்பட்ட நிறத்தில் கலந்து செய்யப்பட்ட ஸ்வீட், 250 கிலோவும், குட்கா, பான்மசாலா, புகையிலை பொருட்கள், 200 கிலோவும் பறிமுதல் செய்யப்பட்டன. 40 கிராம் மைக்ரான் அளவுக்கும் குறைவான கேரிபைகள், 25 கிலோ, தண்ணீர் பாக்கெட்டுகளும் பறிமுதல் செய்யப்பட்டன.
டவுன் பஞ்சாயத்து இளநிலை உதவியாளர் சதீஷ்கிருஷ்ணா, உணவு பாதுகாப்பு அலுவலர்கள் கேசவமூர்த்தி, விஸ்வநாதன், முத்துகுமாரசாமி மற்றும் அலுவலர்கள் மேற்கண்ட பணிகளை செய்தனர்.

Energy drinks allowed to increase caffeine content to ‘dangerous’ level

16,April, 2014 Leave a comment

Overruling warnings from expert, the FFSAI allowed companies to increase caffeine level in energy drink to 320mg per litre from 145mg per litre. Anyone who drinks 700ml of energy drink is at high risk, warn experts

Yajurvedi Rao, an activist had filed a public interest litigation (PIL) against the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for permitting companies to increase caffeine content in energy drinks to 320mg per litre from 145mg per litre.

Quoting an official from a popular energy drink manufacturer, an article from Mumbai Mirror, says, "We manufacture drinks not to kill people. Rather, one will find more caffeine in coffee than in energy drinks. The complainant has no scientific backing to prove anything."

The part marked in red says, “Consumption of more than two cans in a day may be harmful

to your health. Not to be used for pregnant women, breast feeders, children under the age of 16, people with heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, allergy to caffeine, and athletes during exercise."

However, Dr Arvind Shenoy, senior chemical and consumer product researcher, discards the argument. He said, “It is important to note that if the vehicle of consumption for caffeine is coffee, then, one can tolerate caffeine levels even up to 642 mg per day. The situation becomes completely different when the medium of caffeine intake is an energy drink – where the side-effects start kicking in from levels of even 231 mg per day.”

In short, this means one can tolerate caffeine up 642mg per day from coffee but with energy drink, the concoction becomes dangerous even at a level of 231mg per day. Remember, the FSSAI had allowed the level in energy drink to be increased to 320mg per litre. In other words, anyone who drinks around 700ml of an energy drink is at high risk and may suffer from side effects.

Rao had also filed applications under the Right to Information (RTI) Act to procure information. As per one such reply received by him, during 2009, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seized stocks of Red Bull Energy drink. After testing, the FDA found that the energy drink contained 200mg per litre caffeine, more than the permitted level. After that the judicial magistrate at Alibaug directed the authorities to destroy the stock seized from the energy drink company.

Similarly, in July 2011, the Centre of Science and Environment (CSE) had conducted a study on energy drink brands in India, like Red Bull and Cloud 9. The study found that 44% of the samples had caffeine levels higher than the limit of 145 mg per litre back then. The study showed that Red Bull, Coca Cola’s Burn and Monster energy drink had two times more caffeine than Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 (PFA)

(Special report and energy report card)

According to Wikipedia.org , excessive consumption of energy drinks may induce mild to moderate euphoria primarily caused by stimulant properties of caffeine and may also induce agitation, anxiety, irritability and insomnia. Consumption of a single energy drink will not lead to excessive caffeine intake, but consumption of two or more drinks in a single day can. Adverse effects associated with caffeine consumption in amounts greater than 400 mg include nervousness, irritability, sleeplessness, increased urination, abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmia), and dyspepsia.

In the US, energy drinks have been linked with reports of nausea, abnormal heart rhythms and emergency room visits. The drinks may cause seizures due to the "crash" following the energy high that occurs after consumption. Caffeine dosage is not required to be on the product label for food in the United States, unlike drugs, but some advocates are urging the FDA to change this practice, Wikipedia says.

Energy drink manufacturer in India wanted the FSSAI to increase caffeine limit to 320 mg per litre, which they claimed was safe and average for daily consumption. Counter-arguing on this claim, experts warned them against this decision, as the new limit would mean highly excessive amounts of caffeine. Standards for energy drinks clearly mention side effects of caffeine overdose, but the FSSAI still went ahead and increased the caffeine content limit. FSSAI not only failed to take any action against the violators of the PFA, but also issued the new standards in their favour. (Standards of energy drinks)

After increasing the maximum caffeine limit in energy drinks, FSSAI also laid down new standards, which state that “Energy drinks in India will have to strip off their “energy” tag and instead be renamed as “caffeinated beverages”. Such beverages must also carry a safety warning for consumers stating that such drinks are not recommended for “children, pregnant or lactating women, and persons sensitive to caffeine and sportsperson”, and “no more than two cans per day”.

While FSSAI laid down some generic regulations for energy drink companies, they failed to take into account the side effects this caffeine consumption can have on youth as well as adults alike. In November 2010, the University of Texas Medical School at Houston reported that energy drinks contain more caffeine than a strong cup of coffee, and that the caffeine combined with other ingredients (sometimes not reported correctly on labels) such as guarana, taurine, other herbs, vitamins and minerals may interact.

Dr Shenoy says, “Studies show that 30 milligrams or less of caffeine can alter self-reports of mood and affect behaviour and 100 mg per day can lead to physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms upon abstinence. Caffeine withdrawal, or lack of consumption of the daily caffeine limit is equally harmful for people. The potential for caffeine withdrawal to cause clinically significant distress or impairment malfunctioning is reflected by the inclusion of caffeine withdrawal as an official diagnosis in ICD-10 (World Health Organization) and as a proposed diagnosis in DSM-IV (American Psychiatric Association). Although most research on withdrawal has been performed with adults, there is also evidence that children experience withdrawal effects during caffeine abstinence”.

Market research firm Euromonitor calculated that the global energy drink market was worth $3.8 billion in 1999 and this value grew to $27.5 billion in 2013. According to Wikipedia, during 2000 the US energy drink market was worth $350 million and data from the Packaged Facts company shows that the industry grew by 60% between 2008 and 2012 in the US—by 2012 total US sales were over $12.5 Billion. Red Bull and Monster were the two best-selling brands in 2012, accounting for nearly 80% of US energy drink sales, and the energy shot market is worth over $1 billion in 2014.

The energy drink Red Bull did not get market approval in France after the death of an 18-year-old Irish athlete, Ross Cooney, who died within hours after playing a basketball game and consuming four cans of the product. This market approval was challenged in the European Court of Justice in 2004, and consequently lifted. Norway did not allow Red Bull for a time, although this has recently been revoked. The UK investigated the drink, but only issued a warning against its consumption by children and pregnant women.

Considering the widespread sale and popularity of energy drinks such a drastic measure taken by the FSSAI will have a severe negative impact on consumers from India.

Categories: NEWS

Seminar on Comparative Testing of Detergent Cakes and Fairness Creams

16,April, 2014 Leave a comment

Fairness Cream – Is being “fair” synonymous with being “beautiful?”

Detergent cakes – Do you know the ingredients in this “chemical cocktail?”


TO KNOW THE FACTS ABOUT Detergent cakes and Fairness creams


Attend our Seminar on 18thApril 2014

Venue: Gandhi Nagar Club, Adyar, Chennai – 600 0020

Time:  10 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.


At this half day seminar on 18th April, 2014, CONCERT Team shall present their findings based on the tests conducted by them. We would deeply appreciate your deputing your Correspondent to cover the program and disseminate the information amongst your vast readership base.


We assure you that there will be a lot of information that would be of great interest to your readers.


Some important points:


Fairness Creams

·         What are skin whitening/lightening/fairness products?

·         How does our skin get its color?

·         What is a healthy skin and what are the skin types?

·         What does the skin whitening/lightening/fairness cream do?

·         Does fairness cream really make you fair?

·         What are the major constituents in fairness cream?

·         Do you know that certain ingredients (like “hydroquinone” that help in skin lightning) in fairness cream can cause allergic skin irritation or even leukemia?

·         Do you know that researchers suspect that “parabens,”(a class of preservative found in some fairness products) may play a role in the development of breast cancer in women?

·         What are the harmful effects of long term use of fairness cream?

Detergent Cakes

·         Do you know that detergent is a “chemical cocktail?”

·         What are the ingredients in detergents?

·         Do you know that the most dangerous chemical in detergent is the “surfactant?”

·         How does detergent affect our environment?

·         What are the health hazards of various chemicals in detergent?

·         Does the perfume in a detergent serve any purpose?


One to one discussions in the seminar will provide more answers and clear your doubts.


Please do participate in this seminar, gather valuable information and join us for high tea thereafter.



Secretary General
Consumers Association of India & The CONCERT Trust
A-5, 2nd Floor
Thiruvalluvar Nagar
Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai 600 041

Ph: 044 24513191/ 24513192 
Fax: 044 24511040

Press Invite-Detergent cakes and Fairness Creams (Tamil)Press Invite-Detergent cakes and Fairness Creams (Eng)







Date: APRIL 18, 2014                                             Venue: Gandhi Nagar Club, Adyar






09:45 am         Registration



10.00 am         Tamil Thai Vazhthu


10.05 am         Welcome Address

                        Sri G. Rajan, Secretary General


10.10 am         Presidential Address

                        Sri R. Desikan, Chairman Emeritus


10.20 am         Need for the Comparative Testing Project

                        Sri M. Mohan, Program Manager (CT Project)


10.30 am         Report on CT of Fairness cream – Is Being Fair Synonymous with being                        beautiful?

                        Dr. (Mrs) R. Hemalatha, Ph. D, Project Consultant

11.00 am         Consumers Speak Out – some feedback from consumers

11.15 am         Question and Answer session

11.30 am         Tea Break

11.45 am         Report on CT of Detergent – Do you know the ingredients in the Chemical                   Cocktail called Detergent?

                        Dr. (Mrs) R. Hemalatha, Ph. D, Project Consultant       

12.15 pm         Consumers Speak Out – some feedback from consumers

12.30 pm         Question and Answer session

12.45 pm         Vote of Thanks

                        Sri S. Senthamil Selvan, Statistical Officer (CT Project)


12.50 pm         National Anthem

Categories: NEWS

Nutraceuticals slams FSSAI ‘Product Approval’ scheme

15,April, 2014 Leave a comment

Mumbai, Apr 14 (IBNS): The importers and manufacturers of dietary supplements, health supplements, functional foods and nutraceutical industry have deplored the alleged ambiguous scheme of ‘Product Approval’ by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), despite having a stay order from the Bombay High Court for 6 months.

The Food Safety & Standards Act of 2006 was implemented in August 2010 and the FSSAI had framed regulations covering food products in August, 2011.

In January 2012, FSSAI introduced the ‘Product Approval’ system directing all Food Business Operators (FBOs) to obtain a product approval before applying for the licenses under the new Act.

The new Act provided automatic transition of existing licenses under the earlier regime of Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, but the Regulations issued in 2011 provided for one year time limit.

According to the FBO associations, most of the FBOs, including those who were producing proprietary foods for a long period of time have applied for the product approval by paying Rs.25000 for each product applied, in order to transfer the licences of existing products under erstwhile licenses and regime to the new one.

However, due to lack of clarity in implementation and the criteria adopted for such approvals, many of the FBOs have been facing significant problems. The majority of them have not received Product Approval/NOC despite having applied for it over a year ago, thus making them unable to apply for licenses, the industry players noted.

The FBOs noted that the scheme since 2012 and its guidelines have been changed eight times, the last one being in May 2013.

Following this, a Writ Petition was filed in the Bombay High Court against the advisories of Product Approval issued by FSSAI, for which the proceeding is on.

So far, FSSAI has been unable to justify whether this power to release advisories has been passed before both the Houses of Parliament or not, the FBO associations informed.

They further noted that the stay order meant to provide interim relief while decision on the Product Approval scheme is pending, has failed to blow life in the fading businesses of importers and manufacturers alike.

The associations asserted that stay on product approval process remains till August 2014, yet port authorities have been demanding the product approval from importers of dietary supplements and nutraceuticals.

The authorities refuse to send the landed products for testing without the product approval; as a result, no clearance is being made for import of goods in India, they said.

Jayesh Mehta, Proprietor, Paradise Nutrition Inc., said, "We filed for the product approval application 2 years back, but there is no revert on it from the authorities. It has neither been processed, nor rejected or accepted. This has affected over 70% of our business."

Mehta added, "Our imports have completely stopped since September 2013 and we are struggling to stay afloat with the sale of old insufficient stock. We have the necessary licence required to import and do business, and as per the stay order, we should have been allowed to run the business during this while."

The industry leaders said that, Indian players are suffering huge losses with many forced to shut down business.

A large number of FBOs are also exporting Nutraceuticals and Dietary supplements to developed markets like US & Europe, where there is no such product approval system, however, are adversely affected by the uncertain regulatory regime in India, they said.

Leading industry associations after making several representations to FSSAI officials, intense discussions with its own members and open conferences with the stakeholders have found no direction or definite solution from the authorities on the issue of Product Approvals.

Food Business Operators (FBO), however, through their associations are determined to find an effective way to resolve the prevailing issues and demand an independent body to help the cause.

Categories: NEWS

Regulator faces PIL over caffeine content of energy drinks

15,April, 2014 Leave a comment

An activist has filed public interest litigation (PIL) against Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’s (FSSAI) for permitting energy drinks manufacturing companies to increase the caffeine content beyond the earlier prescribed limit. The court, on April 9, directed these firms to reply.

Yajurvedi Rao, a social activist, had filed a right to information (RTI) application in February, seeking information about the caffeine content in popular energy drinks. He was informed that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials in Maharashtra drew samples in 2009, which contained over 200 mg caffeine per litre; much higher than the prescribed limit.

The prescribed limit of caffeine in energy drinks is 145mg per litre. In 2012, FSSAI amended the existing regulations to permit firms to add more caffeine. The amended regulations stipulated that the caffeinated beverages should contain no less than 145 mg per litre and not more than 320 mg per litre . The FSSAI, thus, increased the caffeine limits by almost 175 mg per litre.

Rao then filed a PIL against the regulator, stating that they did so without thinking about the risk to human health.

Advocate Anjali Purav, who is representing Rao, confirmed that a PIL has been filed. "Caffeine, being a stimulant, could have an adverse effect on human health, which is one of the reasons why the regulators should refrain from permitting companies manufacturing caffeinated beverages to increase it beyond the prescribed limit. High caffeine content damages nervous system," she said.

"FSSAI representative has meanwhile assured that no permission will be given until the next hearing takes place on the case," said Purav. She added FSSAI has plans to make caffeinated beverages an additional category.

"Making caffeinated beverages an additional category is only to permit the companies to add more caffeine than the standards mentioned in the existing regulations," the PIL alleges. Adding to the argument, clinical nutritionist Dr Nupur Krishnan said, "Excess caffeine consumption leads to insomnia, body’s reduced power to absorb calcium, increased heart rate and anxiety. Energy drinks are not meant for all kinds of bodies, as not every body can tolerate high caffeine level."

Meanwhile, An official from a popular energy drink company said, "We manufacture drinks not to kill people. Rather, one will find more caffeine in coffee than in energy drinks. The complainant has no scientific backing to prove anything."

Sneha Maisheri, a resident of Mulund said, "Permitting such high levels of caffeine is not a good idea. Companies are already flouting norms and this will allow them to do so even more. The government should not permit this, as youngsters are already addicted to them. The health department should take stern action against violators and cancel their licenses." When contacted, officials from popular energy drink company Red Bull refused to comment.

Categories: NEWS

Cheese and snack sample of a super market fail food test

15,April, 2014 Leave a comment

LUCKNOW: The food samples collected from Lucknow’s Khoya mandi and two major stores have failed the authority’s test. Around 33% of food samples collected from the market during Diwali time have been reported to be violating Food Safety and Security Authority of India’s norms. The team had taken around 34 samples, out of which 12 could not pass the laboratory test.

The official in charge of FSSAI JP Singh said that according to the report collected from food analysis laboratory of Varanasi, the cheese and snacks’ samples collected from a prominent super market in Aashiyana colony have been found to be of inferior quality. Officials said that labeling norms were violated in the packed snacks of the store. Another big store for food purchase in the locality also came under FSSAI scanner during Diwali.

Packets of raw material of sweets being sold in the store also violated packaging norms. The khoya samples picked from Pandit Khoya Mandi, Thakurganj Khoya Mandi and Kursi Road Khoya Mandi have also been reported to be substandard during Diwali time. Similarly sweet samples collected from a Rahimnagar shop and cheese collected from a dairy shop in Khurram nagar near Picnic Spot Road were of inferior quality.

The ghee samples picked from Biharipur Saadatganj and sample of mustard cooking oil from various shops have been found to be ignoring the standards. The curd collected from a famous dairy shop in Chowk was of substandard quality. FSSAI officials said they would soon file case against shopkeepers selling inferior quality food material to consumers in the ADM court.

If their guilt is proved in the court, the shopkeepers in question would be charged a penalty of Rs 1-5 lakh, said FSSAI officials.

Categories: NEWS

Dietary Supplements & Nutraceuticals failed to reach the consumer

14,April, 2014 Leave a comment

Clause 22 of FSS Act, 2006 states that the Food products for special dietary uses, Health Supplements, Nutraceuticals & Functional foods have to be first getting approved from FSSAI and only after the acquiring NOC from the authority they will be allowed to be distributed in the country.

Dietary Supplements, Health supplements, Functional foods and Nutraceutical Industry are suffering the brunt of FSSAI’s Product Approval Scheme, despite having a stay order by the Mumbai High Court. The scheme has been amended eight times since its inception in 2012 and was most recently in May, 2013. The machinery failed to provide interim relief to the importers and manufactures as guaranteed by the court, till the time the decision is pending.

The port authorities have been demanding product approval from the importers despite the stay till August, 2014. This has become a severe problem as the authorities are reluctant in sending landed products for testing without the product approval due to which no clearance have been made for import of goods in India.

Some industry people complain that they had applied for more than one year but the status of their application is still unknown, the result, they are unable to sell their product.

India is a potential market of Nutraceuticals & Dietary supplements with increasing life expectancy and subsequent increase in lifestyle diseases. As per reports, India would take rapid stride in the coming decade in this sector. But unfortunately due to the ambiguity on product approval scheme, the industry is incurring heavy losses. Some FBOs have already winded up their businesses in the very initial period of their launch because of heavy losses incurred.

The issue is very severe and the industry associations have been trying for a comprehensive solution to the problem with FSSAI, so, it is now upto the Apex body to look into the matter and come up with a permanent solution to this issue.

Categories: NEWS

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