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Archive for 8,January, 2018

Alcohol alert on bottles soon

8,January, 2018 Comments off
 

In a first, FSSAI – a body under Union health ministry – is regulating all varieties of alcoholic products by permitting only prescribed percent of alcohol in your drink.

HIGHLIGHTS

1 FSSAI is prescribing alcohol content for each alcoholic beverage.

2 Alcohol manufacturers, domestic or foreign, will have to abode by prescribed alcohol content level in the drink.

3 The authority says ensuring consumption safety of alcoholic drinks is its main aim.

For Bacchus lovers, it’s time to say cheers on a healthy note! For, next time you down a peg of your favourite wine or whiskey, be assured that its alcohol content would be within a safe and permissible limit – as per the standards fixed by Food Safety Standard & Authority of India (FSSAI).

In a first, FSSAI – a body under Union health ministry – is regulating all varieties of alcoholic products by permitting only prescribed percent of alcohol in your drink. All categories of hard drink such as beer, wine, brandy, country liquor, gin, rum, whisky, vodka and wine (red and white) have been regulated.

FSSAI is also prescribing the limit of heavy metals in hard drinks. These heavy metals are found naturally in alcoholic beverages. There will also be an advisory on life safety – ‘Be safe, do not drink & drive’. This will be in addition to the existing labelling that mentions ‘Alcohol is injurious to health’.

Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of accidents and deaths in India. The World Health Organisation study also identifies drunk driving as one of the five key risk factors for road deaths.

According to the ministry of road transport and highways report, 2015, 6,777 individuals were killed because of drunk driving. In 2016, Delhi alone saw as many as 28,006 motorists prosecuted for driving under the influence of alcohol.

FSSAI CEO Pawan Agarwal told MAIL TODAY, "There was no regulation on alcohol in our country. It is for the first time FSSAI is regulating such beverages. We have been working on this for past two years to develop standards for alcohol limit. The final standards have been sent to the Union health ministry for health minister’s approval and will be notified very soon. FSSAI is now moving along the lines of Bureau of Indian Standards and International Organisation of Vine and Wine."

"These regulations are made under the Food Product Safety & Standards (Alcoholic Beverages Standard) Regulations 2018," said Agarwal.

Another official said: "For the regulation of alcohol, the ministry has covered entire products containing alcohol. Any product with over 0.5 per cent of alcohol is called alcohol beverage. Now, these fixed standards for limiting alcoholic content would be applicable under FSSAI Act, 2006, to all domestic products as well as imported products."

Other countries have to follow new permissible limit for importing their alcohol beverage to India.

"The regulations are being made with the aim to control the market of alcohol manufacturers and also people should get a safe drink," he added.

Categories: NEWS

FDA testing six brands of packaged drinking water

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After receiving a letter from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Maharashtra has collected six packaged drinking water samples from across the city.

While the FDA had started collecting samples in October 2017, as per a letter sent by the FDA joint commissioner (Food) to FSSAI, they have collected six samples of packaged drinking water of different brands in the city.

The FDA letter reads, "The samples were sent for analysis to State Public Health Lab, Pune. However, the test facility for bromate was not available in the lab, therefore, the samples were sent to another lab in Jogeshwari (east). While the lab has tested these samples for bromate and the analysis report of these samples are sent to Pune lab. FDA is yet to receive these analysis reports. As soon as the reports are received, further action in the matter will be taken as per the Act."

In 2017, a social activist from Mumbai filed a complaint with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to look into the matter of packaged drinking water containing harmful substances such as bromate. The letter was then forwarded from NHRC to FSSAI and later the FSSAI authority had asked FDA to conduct further investigation.

Researchers at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in 2015 found out that there is the presence of carcinogen (cancer-causing) bromate in packaged drinking water available in Mumbai. Based on this report, a complaint was filed on July 7, 2017, to the NHRC by the activist.

The activist, who does not wish to be named, said, "I am not happy with the way FDA is dealing with the issue since the number of samples collected and sent for analysis is extremely low. I will be writing to FDA to collect more samples considering the fact that 28 out of 100 samples were contaminated while doing the research. There are fewer chances of finding contamination in merely six samples."

Categories: NEWS

Come July, label mandatory for food certified as ‘organic’

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Companies not sticking to standards can be prosecuted, according to FSSAI

Come July, it would be illegal to sell organic food that was not appropriately labelled so.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had issued regulations that required food companies selling organic produce to get certified with one of the two authorities — National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) or the Participatory Guarantee System for India (PGS-India). Companies could also get a voluntary logo from the FSSAI that marked its produce as ‘organic.’

Though NPOP and PGS-India had been in the certification business for some years, it was mostly a voluntary exercise. “From July, any company that claims to sell organic food and not sticking to standards can be prosecuted,” Pawan Aggrawal, CEO, FSSAI told The Hindu.

“..Labelling on the package of organic food shall convey full and accurate information on the organic status of the product. Such product may carry a certification or quality assurance mark of one of the systems mentioned… in addition to the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India’s organic logo,” said a FSSAI notification on January 2 and published in the Gazette. These rules were finalised after almost a year of being sent out as a draft for public comments.

Third party certification

For nearly two decades now, organic farming certification had been done through a process of third party certification under the NPOP. It was run by the Ministry of Commerce and was used for certifying general exports. Nearly 24 agencies were authorised by the NPOP to verify farms, storages and processing units and successful ones got a special ‘India Organic’ logo.

The PGS-India programme, in contrast, had been around for only two years and — unlike the top-down approach of the NPOP — involves a peer-review approach. Here, farmers played a role in certifying whether the farms in their vicinity adhered to organic-cultivation practices. This programme was implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture through the National Centre of Organic Farming.

Categories: NEWS

பாலின் தரம் கண்டறிய இலவச பரிசோதனை முகாம்

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Categories: DISTRICT-NEWS, Salem