FSSAI proposes pictorial warning on liquor bottles
As drunk driving results in thousands of deaths every year, the food regulator is toying with the idea of introducing pictorial warning on liquor bottles to make people aware of the consequences.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has received a set of four pictorial warnings from an NGO, Community Against Drunken Driving, which had petitioned the Delhi High Court seeking the judiciary’s intervention to make the warnings mandatory.
In May, the high court ruled that the issue was in the “realm of policy making and beyond the jurisdiction of the court.”
But it asked the FSSAI to consider the two petitions as “suggestions” to review the entire gamut of issues on the introduction of pictorial warning on liquor bottles.
According to Macrae, FSSAI should follow the United Kingdom for regulatory delivery, regulating the ‘meta-market’, third party certification, risk-based inspection and planning, consumer focus and trust. The Indian food regulator should learn risk communication and compliance support from Netherlands and New Zealand respectively, he added.
AP / TELENGANA
Violations of Food Safety Act mushroom in Krishna district
Vijayawada: The food safety department has booked over 255 cases in Krishna district for selling food products in violation of the Food Safety and Standards Act in the last year. Of these, 105 cases were booked for selling unsafe food products – an offence that is punishable by up to seven years in jail along with a fine of Rs 10 lakh.
Officials are about to launch prosecution proceedings in about 40 cases, it is learnt.
About 60 cases were slapped on fruit vendors for using carbide and other unsafe products to speed up the ripening of fruits. Though the usage of carbide to ripen mangoes was prohibited by the government, it is still being used heavily by wholesale fruit vendors. Apart from mangoes, carbide is being used to ripen oranges and papaya as well. Ethephon, a chemical used to regulate plant growth, is being used to ripen bananas.
Food safety officials have found a new type of product in the name of ethylene powder that was widely used across the state this season. Samples collected by sleuths of the food safety department were found to contain the ethylene powder, which was deemed to be unsafe.
Assistant controller of food safety, N Purnachandra Rao, said ethylene can only be available in liquid form. “We have booked cases against those who have used the unknown powder sachets that are mainly imported from China in the name of ethylene powder,” he said.
In the case of grapes, excess amount of pesticide residue was found to be higher than permissible levels. Waxing apples to preserve them for a long period of time is also a rampant practice, said Purnachandra Rao. Though the use of bee wax is permitted, vendors are using wax derived from petroleum products which will lead to intestinal disorders, he said.
Fruits that are artificially ripened using carbide are overly soft, and are also inferior in taste and flavour. They also have a shorter shelf life. When carbide is used in very raw fruits, the amount of the chemical needed to ripen the fruit has to be increased. This results in the fruit becoming even more tasteless, unhealthy and possibly toxic.
Pointing out the loopholes in maintaining food safety measures, Deputy Commissioner H.R. Mahadev has directed health officers to pay adequate attention to the issue. He was presiding over a meeting of District Coordination Committee on Food Safety at his office here on Monday.