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FSSAI Lays Down Norms for Chemicals in Food Products

Regulations prescribe different parameters and limits of permissible additives, including artificial colours, to be used in different food products.

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The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India(FSSAI) under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, has laid down strict norms regarding standards of food products and additives to be used in food products to ensure the safety of these products.

The standards for the processed foods, including baby foods, are specified under the Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011 and Food Safety and Standards (Health Supplements, Nutraceuticals, Food for Special Dietary Use, Food for Special Medical Purpose, Functional Foods and Novel Food) Regulations, 2016.

These regulations prescribe different parameters and limits of permissible additives, including artificial colours, to be used in different food products.

Further Food Safety and Standards(Contaminants, Toxins and Residues) Regulations, 2011 prescribe limits for contaminants, toxins and pesticides/insecticides/ antibiotic residues for the different food categories.

Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction on Sales) Regulations, 2011, inter-alia, prescribes that ‘No person shall manufacture, sell, store or exhibit for sale, an infant milk food, infant formula and milk cereal-based weaning food, processed cereal-based weaning food and follow up formula except under Bureau of Indian Standards Certification Mark’

A Food Business Operator has to ensure compliance with Food Safety and Standards Act and Rules and Regulations made thereunder so that the processed products, including baby food products, are safe for consumption.

Compliance with these standards is ensured through the States/UTs which are primarily responsible for enforcement of the provisions of Food Safety and Standards Act, Rules and Regulations.

As per Section 18(3) of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, the provisions of the Act do not apply to any farmer or fisherman or farming operations or crops or livestock or aquaculture.

However, FSSAI has laid down strict standards and norms through various regulations to ensure the safety of food products for human consumption.

Regular surveillance, monitoring, inspection and random sampling of food products,    are undertaken by the officials of Food Safety Departments of the respective States/ UTs to check that these comply with the standards laid down under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, and the rules and regulations made thereunder.

In cases where the food samples are found to be non-conforming, recourse is taken to penal provisions under Chapter IX of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.

FSSAI also takes up these issues, including media reports , about the use of harmful chemicals and artificial colourswith the States/UTs  advising them to take strict action for ensuring the quality  and safety of food.

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HEALTHCARE

Health Minister Gives Kayakalp Awards for Health Facilities

The award is given by the Ministry to those best performing public health facilities which demonstrate a high level of cleanliness, hygiene and infection control.

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NEW DELHI: Health and Family Welfare Minister JP Nadda gave away the Kayakalp awards in New Delhi on April 19.

The award is given by the Ministry to those best performing public health facilities which demonstrate a high level of cleanliness, hygiene and infection control.

On the basis of numbers of patients and bed occupancy, the awards have been listed in two categories.

In the first category, AIIMS, New Delhi, received the first prize worth Rs. 2.50 crore, while PGI Chandigarh won the second prize worth Rs. 1.50 crore.

In the second category, North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Science, Shillong was adjudged as the winner with a prize money worth Rs. 1.50 crore.

The second prize went to AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, with a prize money worth 1 crore.

Speaking on the occasion, Nadda said, the Kayakalp initiative will surely prompt other hospitals to excel in achieving the Prime Minister’s goal of Swachh Bharat.

He said, health was not taken seriously earlier, but now it has taken centre stage in the government’s agenda.

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DARPAN-PLI, App for Postal Life Insurance Launched

The hand-held devices will ensure improvement in the quality of Postal services being offered in remote rural areas. 

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NEW DELHI: Minister of State for Communication Manoj Sinha launched DARPAN-Postal Life Insurance App on April 17 in New Delhi.

The DARPAN-PLI App will help in collection of premium for postal life insurance and rural postal life insurance policies at branch post offices anywhere in India, with online updation of the policies.

Speaking on the occasion, Sinha said, these initiative will help Department of Posts in providing better after-sales service to customers, particularly those living in rural areas of the country.

He said, with a view to achieve total digitisation of postal operations in the country, the department has launched Digital Advancement of Rural Post office for a new India (DARPAN) Project, which aims at connecting all one lakh 29 thousand Rural Branch Post Offices.

The Hand-held devices installed under DARPAN Project will ensure improvement in the quality of Postal services being offered in remote rural areas.

Customers in these areas can now avail the facility of online Core Banking, booking of Registered and Speed Post articles, booking of Money Orders, deposit of Postal Life Insurance and Rural Postal Life Insurance premium through these hand-held devices.

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HEALTHCARE

Almost 90% in Delhi are Vitamin-D Deficient

The bigger concern is that the population at large is not even aware of Vitamin D deficiency and its consequences.

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NEW DELHI: Around 88% of the Delhi-NCR population surveyed suffered from Vitamin D deficiency which causes chronic muscle pain, spasms, low energy levels, depression etc, according to a recent report.

However, the bigger concern is that the population at large is not even aware of Vitamin D deficiency and its consequences.

A data analysis of people between the age group of 21 and 65 years from October 2017 to March 2018 showed insufficient Vitamin D presence.

The age group of 21-35 years showed maximum insufficiency, according to the survey conducted by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

The report said that eight out of ten people suffered from the deficiency.

Around 55% of survey respondents were under the age bracket of 20-29 years, followed by 30-39 years (26%), 40-49 years (16%), 50-60 years (approximately 2%) and 60-80 years (1% approximately).

Vitamin D deficiency can lead to bone mineralization, leading to bone softening diseases as rickets in children and osteomalacia and osteoporosis in adults. The deficiency can be easily corrected by Vitamin D supplementation or some lifestyle changes, said Dr H K Chopra, co-chairman of ASSOCHAM Healthcare Council.

Dr Chopra further said insufficiency or non-exposure to sunlight, staying in air-conditioned rooms for long hours during the day could be the prime reason behind the deficiency.

Low vitamin D levels are widely known to harm bones, leading them to become thin, brittle, soft or misshapen.

It is also to be noted that Vitamin D is equally important for heart, brain, immune function and much more.

Foods high in Vitamin D are fish, beef liver, egg yolks.

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