August 13, 2016 9:58:29 pm
Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Saturday said the industry should set aside funds to create public awareness about food safety.
The minister said he has also written to state governments and held discussions with street vendor associations to promote safe food.
“Industry should invest certain percentage in consumer awareness about food safety,” Paswan said while addressing an event to celebrate the first anniversary of ‘Surakshit Khadya Abhiyan’ organised by CII.
He also suggested that consumers should have some machines to check adulteration in food products like milk, water and cooking oils as is the case for blood pressure, sugar and fever.
According to Paswan, eradicating food adulteration and assuring food safety during major festivals is one of the major challenges for the his ministry.
“In India, people will not believe that any food product is without adulteration,” Paswan said, adding that the scenario is different in other countries.
On the Maggi ban episode, Paswan said his ministry approached the consumer court soon after it received the report from the food safety authority, sending a message that “this can happen to any company if it has happened to Nestle India”.
In June 2015, food safety regulator FSSAI had banned Maggi noodles after it found excess level of lead in samples. Nestle relaunched Maggi in Indian markets in November 2015.
Speaking at the event, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) CEO Pawan Kumar Agarwal said the regulator has come out with many standards since 2011, when it became operational, but there is a need for capacity building at the level of states to enforce these standards.
He spoke about the need for changing public perception about food safety. “Food safety and nutrition should be integral part of people’s daily life,” he added.
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