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FSSAI working on draft standards for foods related to IEM for infants

14,April, 2018 Leave a comment

FSSAI is working on draft standards for food related to inborn errors of metabolism for infants. It would be put out for comments and suggestion shortly. The country’s apex food regulator has also identified the food products that would be named in a list and shall be allowed to be imported in the country, once approved.
Pawan Kumar Agarwal, chief executive officer, FSSAI, said that under the initiative of diet4life, the apex food regulator has allowed the import of certain foods that are required to be given to kids suffering from IEM.
“These are specialised food. It is not about lactose intolerance. In such cases, there are specialised foods that are to be imported. Some companies in India have also started manufacturing the same, which we could only import earlier,” he added.
In an estimate, close to 35,000 children die due to IEM every year, and FSSAI has come up with an interim arrangement before finalising the draft standards for that.
Agarwal said, “Now we have identified the items which are related to IEM and only they will be allowed to be imported. A positive list was prepared as an interim arrangement till the standards are finalised. The standards are also being finalised.”
“So once the standards are finalised, there would be certain conditions where breast feeding is just not possible. The Infant Milk Substitutes (IMS) Act, 1992, will be applicable in every case, except where there is a special need for such children,” he added.
He, however, said that if comments were received with reasoning that the draft should be changed/modified, FSSAI will examine it.
Foods related to IEM and the IMS Act, 1992, has become a matter of debate with many experts raising the concern that behind the permission of IEM foods, the companies may introduce their baby foods, which are banned under the IMS Act, 1992.
Dr Shweta Khandelwal, associate professor, Public Health Foundation of India, cautioned, “There is enough evidence that big food or big pharma would leave no opportunity to maximise profits. In this case, these specialised foods are a necessity for children born with IEM.”
“Thus, the industry must be strongly regulated at all stages, so that no needy person is catastrophically affected. There should be schemes or strategies which allow people from low-income families to access these products for their children/families,” she added.
“Import duties can be reduced or waived off on these products as requested by several bodies working in this space,” Dr Khandelwal said.
She added that there were allegations that the industry was trying to get these exempted from the IMS Act, 1992, so that they can make better profits and be less regulated.
However, to address the challenges faced by IEM patients, FSSAI, ministry of health and family welfare, Government of India, launched the Diet4life initiative in partnership with various stakeholders comprising the Indian Dietetic Association (IDA), the Indian Society for Inborn Errors of Metabolism (ISIEM), the Metabolic Errors and Rare Diseases Organisation of India (MERD), the Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP), the National Neonatology Forum (NNF), the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the Indian Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ISPGHAN) and the Infant and Young Child Nutrition Council of India (IYNCI).
The Diet4Life initiative is a collaborating effort that aims to provide a holistic service for IEM patients, with facilities of diagnosis, treatment and management of IEM.
So what is IEM and IMS Act, 1992?
Dr Khandelwal said, “IEM are genetic disorders in which the body cannot properly turn food into energy. In India, the prevalence of IEM is about 1/2,500 newborns.”
“IEM is estimated to affect over 30,000-40,000 children in India currently. The disorders result because of defects in specific proteins (enzymes) that help metabolise or break down parts of food in our body,” she added.
“IEM is life-threatening. Thus, for their treatment, specialised diets which fall under the category of food for special medical purposes (FSMPs) are prescribed,” Dr Khandelwal said.
These FSMPs are life-saving, as without these diets/foods, the children may not survive. Some examples of IEM include congenital hypothyroidism, congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), Glucose 6 Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency (G6PD), biotindase deficiency, galactosemia (GAL), phenylketonuria (PKU), maple syrup urine disease (MSUD), etc.
The IMS Act, 1992, provides for the regulation of production, supply and distribution of infant milk substitutes, feeding bottles and infant foods with a view to the protection and promotion of breastfeeding and ensuring the proper use of infant foods and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
Dr Khandelwal stated that the confusion or controversy starts because of infant foods being included under them.
FSSAI clarified, saying that placing FSMPs in the category of IMS foods may have been problematic and begged exemption from the IMS Act, 1992.
Some concerns FSSAI has highlighted are as follows:
    • All infant milk substitutes and infant food labels have to carry a statement, reading, “Mother’s milk is best for your baby” in capital letters. In cases of some IEM conditions, an infant cannot digest mother’s milk, hence such a label is medically contraindicated and cannot be affixed
    • Products under the IMS Act, 1992, can be taken under advice of health workers, but this cannot be done for IEM diets, which need to be taken only under medical supervision, etc. Hence it would not be feasible to apply the IMS Act, 1992, into infant FSMPs

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துரித உணவுகளில் சேர்க்கப்படும் எம்.எஸ்.ஜி சுவையூட்டி… என்னென்ன விளைவுகளை ஏற்படுத்தும் தெரியுமா?

14,April, 2018 Leave a comment

துரித உணவுகளுக்கு எதிரான பிரசாரங்கள் அண்மையில் தொடங்கியதல்ல. ஆரம்பம் முதலே துரித உணவுகளின் தீங்குகளை உணர்ந்து ஒரு சாரார் எதிர்ப்பு தெரிவித்துக்கொண்டுதான் இருக்கிறார்கள். சுவையூட்டிகள், பதப்படுத்திகள், உப்புகள், நிறமிகள்… என நமது உணவுத் தட்டில் துரிதமாக இடம்பிடிக்கும் துரித

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Categories: NEWS

Health dept raids dairy, collects 9 milk samples, destroys 20 kg cream

13,April, 2018 Leave a comment

Ludhiana: The district health department conducted a raid at a dairy on Rahon Road and collected nine milk samples from there on Thursday. The team of health officials also destroyed 20 kgs of unhealthy cream found in the dairy. The department has launched a special drive to check adulteration of food items in the district.

They found 120 kgs of skimmed milk, 16 kgs of palm oil and 2 tins of refined oil from the dairy. Officials filled the samples of skimmed milk, palm oil, cheese, ghee, milk and colouring agent from the dairy for testing. Samples of namkeen and ice cream were also collected from a bakery on Rahon Road.

Meanwhile, a team of health officials collected 23 samples from dairies, grocery shops, restaurants and wholesale traders in Jagraon and Mullanpur. Officials collected milk, cheese, curd, butter, ghee, ice-cream, green chutney, tea, tomato sauce paneer tikka and red chili sauce from a restaurant on GT Road, Jagraon. All the samples collected from various shops and dairies were sent to the state laboratory and the department is expected to receive the report in the next few days.

Food safety officer Yogesh Kumar said they have served a notice to the dairy owner on Rahon Road for not maintaining hygiene at the shop and he has been asked to submit a report for cleanliness certificate within a week.

Categories: NEWS

Step by Step effect: DM asks all school canteens to be inspected

13,April, 2018 Leave a comment

NOIDA: The district magistrate of Gautam Budh Nagar has ordered the inspection of all school canteens in the wake of around 200 students falling ill after having food and water served at Step by Step school.

BN Singh, the DM, said he had instructed the chief medical officer and the basic education officer to ensure canteens and eateries in schools followed guidelines laid down in the Food Safety Standards Act, 2006. Officials have been instructed to check for batch numbers, manufacturing date and nutrition value on packets of spices and edible oil used to cook food for students. “Spices and edible oil should be of good quality and they must be packed tightly. Those cooking the food must wear gloves and ensure the surroundings are clean. The canteen and the school should both preserve food samples for at least 24 hours so they can be examined in case such an incident happens,” Singh said.

Officials from the food and health departments have visited Step by Step twice after the students there took ill. While the first visit last week yielded little other than ajwain and edible oil, the second inspection to collect water samples from the school’s taps on Wednesday was done after the tanks had been cleaned.

Vedpal Singh Pundir, the SHO of Expressway police station, said Step by Step had written to police naming 12 persons who managed the canteen on the campus. Sodexo, the agency that manned the kitchen, said it was yet to get any intimation from the police.

The DM said the teams would often make surprise visits to schools. If items are found to be substandard, a Rs 1 lakh fine would be levied each on the school and the agency manning the kitchen. “There is also a provision for three months’ imprisonment. The schools have been specifically told to ensure food safety standards and cooperate with the administration and police if need be,” Singh said.

CMO Anurag Bhargava said the health department would soon form teams to go on inspections. “We will soon issue an advisory for all schools about food and water served to students. The school management and the canteen operator would be asked to taste the food first before serving it,” he said.

Categories: NEWS

Food safety in the Kerala takes a back seat

13,April, 2018 Leave a comment

The food safety department officials have been on their toes for the last few months because of a spurt in cases related to violation of the food safety rules. With social media also working overtime, officials say that it has become difficult for them to keep up with the pace as they are acutely short of staff.

If it were the Lassi shops in Kochi last month, this week, it was repackaging of food items past their expiry date. Senior officials with the department, who didn’t want to be named, said that they don’t even have half the staff or infrastructure that the excise department enjoys and yet they have a large work portfolio. “Everybody wants to ensure safety of food. It is high time that the government gives us the adequate staff and infrastructure to handle the challenges.”

According to the food safety rules, an assembly constituency should have a food safety officer. However, there is a shortage in many districts. Officials said that in districts which have corporations and municipalities, there is a need for at least two assistant commissioners – one to handle the licences and another for monitoring and surveillance. “We need at least two vehicles – one for the squad and one for department officials. Now there is a Quick Response Team which often hires vehicles when it goes for conducting checks,” a senior official said. There are only three squads in the state – one in each region as of now.

The department gets side-lined as it comes under the health department and is not considered an independent vertical.

“We also have a shortage of testing labs. As of now, there are only three laboratories in the state. Every district should have one lab, so that the samples are checked fast. Speedy disposal of cases is yet another issue as RDO, burdened with revenue complaints, is the appellate authority,” said a senior official.

The Panangad police team headed by sub-inspector Rejin M Thomas has intensified the search for Siva Subrahmanyam, suspected to be the master brain behind this repackaging of food items past their shelf life at a warehouse in Nettoor.

"The well-equipped unit has all modern equipment to repack food items manufactured by major brands. We also suspect they were engaged in manufacturing duplicates of brands with high market demand,” he said.

The police have registered a case against Karwar Alliance Pvt Ltd over the incident. The samples have been sent for detailed lab tests. "We have registered a case against the firm for forgery and cheating,” said Rejin M Thomas, Panangad sub-inspector.

Food inspector Zakkeer Husain said the firm was repacking products with fancy names like choco-vita, malto-vita etc and selling it under the offer ‘buy one, get one free’. “There were also free gifts bundled with the products which are aimed at enticing the customer,” he said.

Categories: NEWS

Kerala Food Safety Commissonerate warns stern action on sale of bottled water violationg law

13,April, 2018 Leave a comment

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Packaged drinking water should not be sold in the state without the relevant food safety licence or BIS certification, the Food Safety Commissonerate said on Thursday. Violations will be dealt with sternly under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, the commissionerate said. The commissionerate has issued the warning following complaints of several brands selling packaged drinking water engaging in the in violation of the law and the provisions of the BIS.

Rule 2.1.2 of the Food Safety and Standards Act makes a food safety licence mandatory for the production of packaged drinking water. The quality of the product is governed by rule 2.10.8 of the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulation. The Kerala High Court also had ordered stern action against companies engaged in the sale of water in violation of these rules and regulations.

The Food Safety Commissionerate has urged the public to pass on information regarding such violations to the assistant commissioners (Food Safety) in the districts, the food safety mobile vigilance squad or on toll-free number 1800 425 1125.Mobile vigilance squad numbers: Thiruvananthapuram – 8943346195; Ernakulam – 8943346196; Kozhikode – 8943346197

Categories: NEWS

FSSAI urges state food safety chiefs to dispose of pending PFA cases

12,April, 2018 Leave a comment

In what could be a test case of how responsive state food safety authorities are towards FSSAI’s directives, the country’s apex food regulator has again issued a letter instructing the states’ and Union Territories’ (UTs’) food safety commissioners to share the outcome of special efforts undertaken in their respective state or UT and dispose of the cases pending under the erstwhile Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 (PFA) and other enactments repealed by the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
This was the fifth time FSSAI has written to the states. And only a few states, including Gujarat, Rajasthan and Goa, have shown results. This was mentioned in the letter issued by the regulator, which added that others have not shown any major intention towards reducing the burden of litigation on food safety officers (FSOs). The latest letter was issued in March 2018.
In the past, FSSAI, in continuation, had issued letters dated July and October 2017, wherein it had shared the good work done by the three aforementioned states, urging other states and UTs to undertake a similar exercise.
The regulator, in its letter dated  December 2017, advised all food safety commissioners to withdraw, or, at least, not pursue, cases for violation under the old norms and standards, unless these were still not in conformity with the new or revised standards, so that the avoidable harassment of FBOs could be prevented.
It shared the exemplary work done by the Government of Gujarat. Through an extensive exercise, they had segregated and identified 3,881 cases, out of a total of 4,239 cases, which could be disposed of or closed by imposing a fine or cost. Out of these 3,881 cases, they have disposed of 1,905 cases and realised an amount of Rs 1,29,70,000 as fine or cost. They are in the process of taking up the remaining 1,976 cases for disposal in the next special sitting, which is being scheduled in the near future.
H G Koshia, commissioner, Food and Drug Control Administration (FDCA), Gujarat, said, “The remaining 1,976 cases will be taken up in the next special sitting soon. The resultant reduction in workload due to the disposal of a large number of cases has enabled the officers of food safety departments to devote more time to constructive work to ensure safe and wholesome food for the citizens of the state. This has also lessened the burden on the judiciary and have made FBOs happier.”
“The state of Telengana has approximately  250 cases pending under the PFA Act, 1954,” said the deputy food commissioner of the southern state, adding, “The advisory was passed between December and January, but it has not been implemented in the state yet. The cases under the PFA Act, 1954, have to be segregated according to the new guidelines issued by the Food Safety Standards Act, 2006. We will soon start the drive to dispose the pending cases.”
An official from Maharahtra FDA said, “In the state, a total of 5,000 cases are pending under the PFA Act, 1954. Out of these 5,000, 2,000 cases were disposed of in normal hearings. Out of remaining 3,000 cases, till the end of March, 310 cases were disposed of, depending upon the offence. We have spoke to the registrar general of the High Court to provide us the date to clear the remaining pending cases. However,  some of the FBOs are not satisfied with the fine or penalty given, and thus, do not come for the proceedings.”
Meanwhile, an official from Delhi mentioned that the state did not have any record as of now for pending cases. Also, a few cases are more than 10 years old, and cannot be solved in one court trail. A few other states like West Bengal, Kerala and Punjab refused to divulge any details on the matter.

Categories: NEWS

Is your honey pure enough? FSSAI to ensure purity with 20 parameter test

12,April, 2018 1 comment

As per the information available with Zee Business, the new standards for honey will be released in the month of June 2018. The new standards will have 20 parameters to check the purity of honey. The parameters will also focus on sugar concentrate in the honey and they will be tested as per C4 and C3 norms to know its purity

To ensure purity of honey that reaches the consumers in the market, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has decided to release new standards to test the purity of honey. As per the information available with Zee Business, the new standards for honey will be released in the month of June 2018. The new standards will have 20 parameters to check the purity of honey. The parameters will also focus on sugar concentrate in the honey and they will be tested as per C4 and C3 norms to know its purity.

Pawan Agarwal, the CEO of FSSAI, in an exclusive talk with Zee Business’s Suman Agrawal, said, "Sugar and Corn syrups can be used for adulteration of the honey and till date we never had the method to check this adulteration. But, the new standards will have certain provisions to have a check on sugar concentrate in Honey. The standards will be notified as soon as the mechanism of testing method is finalised at our end." He added, "the notification will allow us to have a check on adulteration of honey with the help of sugar and corn syrup."

Earlier on December 14, 2017, the FSSAI issued a draft notification on Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standard and Food Additives) Amendment Regulation related to standards of Honey, Bee Wax & Royal Jelly, Steviol glycoside along with pulses and other products. These amendments regulations prescribed revised standards for honey and comprehensive standards for all pulses and for all other products, there are new standards. These amendments will ensure purity and quality of these food products.

In addition, BL Saraswat; the executive director at National Bee Board, added, "there was a need to bring new standards to monitor the purity of honey."

The decision to revise the standards was taken in the backdrop of complaints related to adulteration in Honey. Complains are there the honey is being adulterated with sugar, water and sugar syrup. Adulteration of honey with these products makes it difficult to identify the purity of the product. Besides, in past, some reports claimed that China is also sending adulterated honey to India.

About the Existing Standards

The food regulator, FSSAI’s existing guidelines mainly focused on the antibiotic, moisture, sucrose, hydroxymethyl furfural instead of adulteration. But the new standards, yet to be released will have guidelines to check the sugar concentration in honey.

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கார்பைடு மாம்பழங்கள் விற்பனை காண ஜோர்

12,April, 2018 Leave a comment

Categories: DISTRICT-NEWS, Madurai