லக்னோ: மேகி நூடுல்சை தொடர்ந்து நெஸ்லே நிறுவனத்தின் பாஸ்ட்டா உணவு வகையும் பாதுகாப்பற்றது என சோதனையில் உறுதி செய்யப்பட்டுள்ளது. இதனால் பாஸ்ட்டா விற்பனைக்கும் விரைவில் தடை விதிக்கப்பட வாய்ப்பு இருப்பதாக கூறப்படுகிறது. நெஸ்லே நிறுவனத்தின் மேகி நூடில்சில் நிர்ணயித்த அளவை விட காரீயத்தின் அளவு அதிகமாக இருப்பதாக எழுந்த சர்ச்சையை தொடர்ந்து பல மாநிலங்களிலும் மேகி நூடுல்ஸ் விற்பனைக்கு தடை விதிக்கப்பட்டது. நீண்ட போராட்டத்திற்கு பிறகு நெஸ்லே நிறுவனம் சமீபத்தில் மேகி நூடுல்ஸ் விற்பனையை மீண்டும் தொடங்கியது. இந்நிலையில், உத்திர பிரதேசத்தில் நெஸ்லே நிறுவனத்தின் விற்பனையாளர்களிடம் ஜூன் 10ம் தேதி பாஸ்ட்டா மாதிரிகள் பெறப்பட்டது.
இந்த பாஸ்ட்டா மாதிரிகள் லக்னோவில் உள்ள அரசு ஆய்வுக்கூடத்தில் ஆய்வு செய்யப்பட்டது. பலகட்ட சோதனைக்கு பிறகு, நெஸ்லே நிறுவனத்தின் பாஸ்ட்டாவில் காரீயம் நிர்ணயிக்கப்பட்ட அளவை விட அதிகமாக இருப்பது தெரிய வந்தது. இது குறித்து உ.பி., உணவு கட்டுப்பாட்டு துறை அதிகாரி அரவிந்த் யாதவ் கூறுகையில், பொதுவாக காரீயம் சேர்க்கப்பட வேண்டிய அளவு 2.5 பிபிஎம்(பார்ட்ஸ் பெர் மில்லியன்). ஆனால், பாஸ்ட்டாவில் 6 பிபிஎம் இருந்தது சோதனையில் தெரியவந்தது. சோதனை அறிக்கை அடிப்படையில் மோடிநகரில் உள்ள நெஸ்லே நிறுவனத்திற்கு நோட்டீஸ் அனுப்பினோம். ஆனால், அது திரும்பி வந்து விட்டது என்றார்.
கோர்ட் மூலம் நடவடிக்கை
: சோதனை அறிக்கை விரைவில் கோர்ட்டில் தாக்கல் செய்யப்பட்டு, பாஸ்ட்டா விற்பனைக்கு தடை கோரப்பட உள்ளதாகவும் அதிகாரிகள் தெரிவித்துள்ளனர். சோதனை அறிக்கை அடிப்படையில் பாஸ்ட்டா, பாதுகாப்பற்ற உணவு பொருள் பட்டியலில் சேர்க்கப்பட்டுள்ளதாக கூறப்படுகிறது. இந்த புதிய குற்றச்சாட்டு குறித்து நெஸ்லே இந்தியா நிறுவனத்திடம் கேட்டதற்கு, பாஸ்ட்டா 100 சதவீதம் பாதுகாப்பானது. இந்த புதிய குழப்பத்தால் பாஸ்ட்டா தயாரிப்புக்களில் சரிபார்க்கும் பணி நடைபெற்று வருவதாக தெரிவித்தது. மேலும் இது தொடர்பாக தங்களுக்கு இதுவரை எந்த நோட்டீசும் வரவில்லை என்றும் நெஸ்லே கூறி உள்ளது.
FSSAI is almost obsessed with bringing in a “Food Product Approval System” that does not exist in any country in the world and is clearly more restrictive of trade than is required to achieve appropriate level of health protection, according to Indian Drug Manufacturers Association (IDMA). Members of the association expressed this opinion at a press conference held here on Thursday.
Addressing the media, R K Sanghavi, chairman, nutraceuticals sub-committee, IDMA, and many members of the body, said, “Introduction of Product Approval system will deprive the consumer of general product which is available in all other countries. There are countries who are healthy and safe with various products being introduced with no such system of Product Approval.”
“With the Supreme Court verdict, FSSAI is not supposed to ask for Product Approval from Patanjali or Nestle when they have all documents of ingredients, registration, licences in place,”claimed the members.
The IDMA members reiterated that a “product” contains several ingredients and the draft regulations have already notified many meaning that all products having these or the listed additives were naturally safe.
They wanted to know why FSSAI wanted to come up with a Product Approval system in spite of the Supreme Court upholding the quashing of advisory in a verdict dated August 19, 2015.
One of the IDMA members, thundered, “FSSAI has adamantly declared on its website that although it is no more able to operate the Food Product Approval System due to the August 19, 2015, judgement of the Supreme Court, they shall soon use the legal route to reintroduce the system of pre-approving final product via regulations.”
Further, in response to a letter sent to FSSAI by IDMA on September 29, 2015, to find out if any public grievance case was received by the authority under Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS), the apex regulatory body replied in October that it did not receive any such grievances till date, however, it was making all efforts to expeditiously frame regulations on Product Approval. The body clarified that till the regulations are notified, the provisions of the Act and the regulations thereunder shall remain in operation.
The members presented an RTI (Right to Information Act) response copy filed by Sanjay Kumar Jain, advocate, Punjab & Haryana High Court, Chandigarh, posing queries such as how much total funds were collected, how many product approval applications were received and how the funds were utilised. Interestingly, all the questions were answered vaguely and without any clarity by officials concerned at FSSAI.
“The loser, if the Product Approval system is reintroduced, would be the food industry resulting in loss of productivity for India, the consumer since availability of products already being consumed could stall; the Indian public since employment opportunities will fold up and even retrenching of labour could be the outcome; loss of export opportunities; and even loss to the drive for “Make in India” movement because there is no reason why foreign industry should come to India to suffer unnecessary, unheard of restrictions,” stated Dr Jaydeep A Thaker, member, nutraceuticals committee, IDMA.
Meanwhile, Sandeep Gupta, vice-chairman, nutraceuticals subcommittee, IDMA, said, “Asking for Product Approval is overruling the court orders. Product Approval for them is all based on paper, wherein list of ingredients that goes in manufacturing of product is mentioned and submitted to get approved. There is no scientific/lab study done on the product. With proper testing just a paper can’t decide the safety of human life.”
Gupta pointed out that the Special Task Force formed by FSSAI and headed by Dr V Prakash to review the process of Product Approval, had recommended that proprietary food products using approved ingredients and additives should not require Product Approval.
He stated, “What is needed is surveillance in the market place by FSSAI on products available and suitable action, as already provided for by FSSA, if any of them do not comply with the prevailing regulations. With a similar mechanism, consumer safety is being assuredly guarded by food authorities globally.”
According to him, IDMA has submitted a list of over 4,000 ingredients and additives which are already being consumed globally and need to be listed by the upcoming regulations being framed for Section 22. Once the FSSAI has pre-approved ingredients in place then any product utilising these is automatically deemed safe under the regulations of the FSS Act.
“Its high time, we need regulations in place now. We have submitted draft regulations to FSSAI and if they need any clarification, IDMA is open for discussion,” concluded Gupta.
Nestle claims it never got any notice from Lucknow lab, says its product ‘100% safe’
Days after it relaunched its instant Maggi noodles, the Nestle India has landed in fresh trouble, with its pasta products —- sold under the brand name Maggi Pazzta —- found to be carrying lead beyond permissible limits in tests carried out at state-owned food testing laboratory in Lucknow. The company, however, said its products are safe to consume.
Pazzta samples collected from Nestle distributor – Sriji Traders – in Mau on June 10, were sent to a government food testing laboratory in Lucknow, said Arvind Yadav, designated officer at food and drug administration (FDA), Mau.
“The samples were taken from Mau and sent to National Food Analysis Laboratory, Lucknow. According to report received on September 2, the samples failed the tests. The standard limit is 2.5 PPM (parts per million) while it has been found to be 6 PPM (in the samples),” Yadav said.
The official said a letter informing the Nestle company sent at its Modinagar address a month ago “has come back here undelivered”. Yadav also showed the undelivered letter to media persons.
The company, however, said that it has not received any formal notification from the authorities in UP or from Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) about such results, but added that , “We will work with authorities to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.”
“Maggi Pazzta is 100 per cent safe. The finished product and the raw materials used to make it undergo rigorous testing during every stage of the manufacturing process. We have seen media reports claiming that lead has been found in the product and we are investigating. We regret the confusion that these reports may be causing. They are safe to consume,” a Nestle India spokesperson said in a statement.
However, FDA officer Yadav said, “On the basis of the report, this food product now comes under the ‘unsafe food category’.”
“The report has been sent to the FDA Commissioner (Lucknow) on October 12 for sanction to lodge a case and in case it is received, it will be filed in the court of the CJM here,” Yadav said.
The official, to questions, said, “It can also lead to banning the product”.
Meanwhile, District Magistrate Vaibhav Srivasatav said, “The sample, which has failed the test, is of June and we will take immediate action on the directives…we are in touch (with the authorities) on phone”.
In June, Nestle had to take Maggi noodles off the shelves after FSSAI banned the product terming it “unsafe and hazardous” for human consumption. However, the Bombay High Court later ordered lifting of the ban and fresh tests, which the product cleared. Subsequently, the noodles were relaunched.
ஓமலூர்: ஓமலூரில் வெல்லம் தயாரிக்க, கர்நாடகாவிலிருந்து கொண்டு வரப்பட்ட, 940 சர்க்கரை மூட்டைகளை உணவு பாதுகாப்பு அதிகாரிகள் பறிமுதல் செய்தனர்.
சேலம் மாவட்டம், ஓமலூர் மற்றும் அதை சுற்றியுள்ள பகுதியில் வெல்லம் தயாரிக்கும் ஆலைகள் செயல்படுகிறது. இவர்களில் சிலர், விதிமுறை மீறி, சர்க்கரை மூலம் வெல்லம் தயாரிக்கும் பணியில் ஈடுபடுகின்றனர். இதையடுத்து, சேலம் மாவட்ட உணவு பாதுகாப்பு நியமன அலுவலர் அனுராதா தலைமையிலான குழுவினர், நேற்று, ஓமலூர் அடுத்த, நாலுகால்பாலம், சர்க்கரைசெட்டிப்பட்டி, காமலாபுரம் உள்ளிட்ட பகுதியில், வாகன தணிக்கையில் ஈடுபட்டனர். அப்போது, அவ்வழியாக சென்ற மூன்று மினி லாரிகளை மடக்கி விசாரித்தனர். அவர்கள், கர்நாடகாவில் இருந்து, 240 சர்க்கரை மூட்டைகளை, வெல்லம் தயாரிக்கும் ஆலைக்கு கொண்டு செல்ல முயன்றது. அதையடுத்து, அந்த சர்க்கரை மூட்டைகளை அதிகாரிகள் பறிமுதல் செய்து, லாரியில் வந்த பன்னீர்செல்வம், குமார், பழனிவேல் ஆகியோரிடம் விசாரணை நடத்தி வருகின்றனர். மேலும், காமலாபுரம் பகுதியில் சோதனையிட்ட போது, அங்கு தனியார் அரிசி குடோனில் வைக்கப்பட்டிருந்த, 700 சர்க்கரை மூட்டைகளை பறிமுதல் செய்து, அந்த குடோனுக்கு உணவு பாதுகாப்பு அதிகாரிகள் சீல் வைத்து விசாரித்து வருகின்றனர்.
Notice calling for claims, suggestions, views, comments etc from stakeholders within a period of 30 days on the draft notification of BIS proposed Standards. (Uploaded on: 26.11.2015)
The objections or suggestions, if any, may be addressed as per the attached format to the Chief Executive Officer, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, 03rd Floor, Food and Drug Administration Bhawan, Kotla road, New Delhi. 110002. The objections or suggestions may also be mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org on or before 26.12.2015.
ராமநாதபுரம், :ராமநாதபுரம் அருகே அயோடின் கலக்காத உப்பு பாக்கெட்டுகளை தயாரித்த உப்பளத்திற்கு உணவு பாதுகாப்புத்துறை அதிகாரிகள் ‘சீல்’ வைத்தனர். அங்கிருந்து 10 டன் உப்பு பாக்கெட்டுகளை பறிமுதல் செய்தனர்.ராமநாதபுரம் மாவட்டத்தில் தனியார் உப்பளங்களில் இருந்து அயோடின் கலக்காத உப்பு பாக்கெட்டுகள் விற்பனைக்காக இதர மாவட்டங்களுக்கு கொண்டு செல்லப்படுவதாக புகார் எழுந்தது. உணவு பாதுகாப்பு மாவட்ட நியமன அலுவலர் போஸ், அலுவலர்கள் செல்லபாண்டி, கர்ணன், தங்கசிவன் ஆகியோர் தேவிபட்டினம்- கோப்பேரிமடம் பகுதியில் உப்பளங்களை ஆய்வு செய்தனர்.துாத்துக்குடி தனியார் நிறுவன முகவரியில் அயோடின் உப்பு என, அச்சிட்ட பாக்கெட்டுகளை சோதனை செய்தனர். அவற்றில் அயோடின் கலக்காமல், போலி முகவரியில் தயாரித்து தெரியவந்தது. உப்பு பாக்கெட்களை பறிமுதல் செய்து, உப்பளத்திற்கு அதிகாரிகள் ‘சீல்’ வைத்தனர்.மாவட்ட நியமன அலுவலர் போஸ் கூறுகையில்,“ பறிமுதல் செய்த உப்பு மாதிரியை நெல்லை பகுப்பாய்வு மையத்திற்கு அனுப்பியுள்ளோம். முடிவு தெரிந்தவுடன் சட்டப்படி நடவடிக்கை எடுக்கப்படும்,” என்றார்.
The dal crisis which recently hit the country was more man-made than natural, a special investigation by India Today TV has revealed.
The channel caught on camera middlemen and forward traders dealing in Delhi’s biggest commodity market – Naya Bazaar – explaining how not just dal, but much of the agricultural produce in India is priced by a cartel of big dealers.
In April this year the price of arhar dal suddenly spiked – dal that was available in the market for less than Rs 70 a kg, jumped to over Rs 200.
While commodity traders blamed untimely rains, an India Today TV special investigation conducted over three weeks exposed that the real culprits were hoarders sitting in Old Delhi.
Posing as farmers who were looking to sell their crop of arhar in the market, the team spoke to several commodity traders who explained how the entire racket is run.
“Big hoarders and commodity traders keep track of agricultural production in such states as Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. They specially depute a person to track the production and the yearly fluctuations. Thus, they do a complete data analysis. Then they pick up a commodity whose production has been weak – the “loose point” – and start tugging its price. This time arhar was the loose point. It is also happening to urad, which unlike arhar, is not even imported. This is complete fixing,” said one of the dal ‘fixers’ Mohan Lal (name changed).
According to the India Today TV investigation, the big traders of Naya Bazaar act as a cartel. They first engage experts who survey crops in major agricultural states and estimate the prospective yields of each crop.
Another fixer Rajesh Bhalla (name changed) explained the modus operandi.
“While a common man does not know how prices will fare in next 15 days, big firms engaged in commodity trading are in a position to know well beyond that as they hoard a lot. This time for arhar dal, there was just one crop coming in from South Africa. There was less crop in India already. Stock was almost nil. They also measured the stock in Mumbai, then started increasing prices in the market,” Anand said.
The India Today TV team found that the dal scam had its tentacles spread from Myanmar all the way to African countries
The price of arhar dal had shot up to over Rs 200 per kg. The rise is allegedly manufactured by a cartel of big dealers in Naya Bazaar.
According to the India Today TV investigation, while forward trading in agricultural commodities is legal in India, people such as Lal and Bhalla do not operate at the official NCDEX Agricultural Commodity Exchange. Instead, they bet in an illegal ‘satta’ market that operates out of Naya Bazaar. Here the future price of a commodity has little correspondence to the actual produce, instead it depends on manoeuvrings of speculators who scheme many months in advance to make a killing.
Lal told India Today TV that big firms that had hoarded large sums of dal or other produce sell it on their own terms by keeping a margin. While it may appear they stand to loose and not profit if one sees daily fluctuations, it is not so as these companies work over a long term, 3-4 months.
The investigation further revealed that this was just tip of the iceberg. The satta operators manufactured an artificial scarcity.
The India Today TV team found that the dal scam had its tentacles spread from Myanmar all the way to African countries which are major pulses producers. Big importers, mostly based in Mumbai, sent procurement agents to these countries.
Everything is perfectly calculated: how much dal has been produced in India, how long will it take for stocks from Myanmar and Africa to reach India, etc. Importers take delivery of the stock, but hoard it at foreign ports so that prices shoot up in the Indian market.
“Ships from Myanmar carrying tonnes of dal are made to halt for days at ports in Singapore; those coming in from Africa are asked to slow their journey to India. The aim is simple, to create scarcity in India,” claimed Bhalla.
On being asked why rates of foreign imports went up and ours down, he casually said: “It’s all manipulation sir. That’s imported stuff, available in bulk.”
If these fixers are to be believed, the imported stock, available for cheap in bulk, is then sold at inflated prices in India. Mill owners are forced to purchase dal from importers at these hugely inflated rates, who then spike the rates in the wholesale market. Small retailers charge their own premium, making dal unaffordable for consumers.
An importer-retailer nexus exists across Asia and Africa. While these importers and fixers make a killing by manipulating dal prices, farmers struggle to get even the bare minimum for their crops.
As per India Today TV’s findings, arhar might have been the latest target of the commodity cartel, it was by no means an isolated case.
Mewa Singh (name changed) who owns a shop in the Gali Jatwara at Naya Bazaar confidently told the India Today TV team to brace for a spike in the prices of masur and urad next.
“The pulses produced in UP are of better quality this year. The prices will go up by Rs 20-30. Prices of masoor dal will be not as high as that of black dal. Right now black dal is Rs 92-93 a kg and it will go up to Rs 120,” Singh said.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has come out with the proposed standards for alcoholic beverages. This draft is divided into six chapters—the first deals with general provisions, such as definition clauses, and the last with labelling. In the other four chapters, the draft lays down applicable standards for ‘distilled alcoholic beverage’, ‘wines’, ‘beer’ and ‘low alcoholic beverages’. Within these chapters, the beverages are classified according to various known types (brandy, whiskey and so on) and various sub-types within each type.
This very structuring is an area of concern. For each type of alcohol, the draft uses the phrase “(this spirit) shall be of the following types.” For instance, in the section governing ‘liqueur/alcoholic cordials’, there is a general definition provided for this type of alcohol. This is followed by the statement that “(liqueur/alcoholic cordials) shall be of the following types,” and thereafter lists nine sub-types. This may be interpreted to imply that only those subs-types exhaustively constitute ‘liqueur/alcoholic cordials’ and that other non-listed sub-types may not be covered even if they may fulfil the main definition. This structure is seen in many locations and the use of the word ‘shall’ in such context and implying a limitation in the varieties doesn’t serve any stated public purpose.
Old wine in new, broken bottle
The proposed draft has been mostly copied from the existing Indian Standards (IS) issued by the Indian Standards Bureau, though there are some interesting departures, such as proposed definition of brandy, which has been defined to be an alcoholic beverage “made from grapes and other fruits that possesses the distinctive colour, odour and taste of its own.” In the earlier IS, brandy could be made from grains also. However, a liquor made from grains alone would not fall within the definition of ‘brandy’ any more. If mixed with 2% grape brandy, it may fall under the scope of ‘blended brandy’.
Some strange modifications have been suggested and standards have not been updated. An example is the proposed draft incorporating threshold requirements of ingredients for various alcoholic beverages. Beverages like tequila, liqueur/alcoholic cordials and some kinds of brandy are missing from table-1, even though the draft requires such beverages to “conform to the requirements of table-1.” No characteristics are provided for several alcoholic beverages, adding to uncertainty. For example, while ‘grape brandy’ must be matured for at least one year in oak vats or barrels, ‘blended grape brandy’ need not necessarily be matured in oak vats or barrels; instead, a wooden vat or barrel may be used. With respect to liqueur/alcoholic cordials, the draft only mentions the use of fruit, cream, herbs and spices as flavourings. Other flavours like chocolate, coffee, nuts, schnapps, honey and caramel have not been mentioned, which may be construed as an implied exclusion of such other flavourings.
A major shortcoming of the draft is its lack of consistency and coherence. This starts right from the definition chapter where 18 terms have been defined, of which seven have not at all been used in the standards. The term ‘alcoholic distillate’ has been used in several places, but has not been defined. On the other hand, the term ‘fermented liquor’ has been defined, but has not been used.
While various standards have been prescribed for different types of alcohol, in several instances such as for wine, beer, low-alcoholic beverages, tequila, liqueur/alcoholic cordials, the draft makes no reference to the method of analysis to be applied or the tolerance levels allowed. For brandy and whisky, the draft makes a reference to the FSSAI Manual of Method of Analysis of Food 2015-Alcoholic Beverages and sets a tolerance limit of ethanol at +/-3%. The said manual itself does not contain any method of analysis or tolerance for all types of alcoholic beverages covered within the scope of draft regulations.
Chapter 6, relating to labelling of alcoholic beverages, presents its own set of problems. The draft clarifies it is in addition to the applicable requirements arising from the Food Safety & Standards (Packaging & Labelling) Regulations, 2011. The draft proposes additional information to be part of the label and clarifies some pre-existing issues. It refers to the need to include a statement of ‘standard drinks’, and for wines the label is allowed to carry the name of a grape variety, only if the wine is made using at least 75% grapes of that variety.
Under existing norms, alcoholic beverages are not legally treated as a single ingredient product and a list of ingredients needs to be printed in English or Hindi. This listing has to be in the descending order of composition and labelling must be such that it cannot be separated from the product itself. This has resulted in problems because alcoholic beverages from several countries do not always contain information on ingredients in the manner contemplated under Indian law and many are not in English/Hindi. Existing rules do not allow such information to be added as a sticker, post-importation in India. Unfortunately, these issues do not seem to have been remedied in the draft.
Given recent developments in the food sector, the efforts of FSSAI to develop such standards in a transparent and consultative manner is welcome. But the draft needs to get rid of errors and inconsistencies and provide a set of robust regulations for alcoholic beverages.
The author is joint partner in law firm Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan. Views are personal