FSSAI in a proactive mode
This refers to news items “After Maggi noodles fiasco, FSSAI for fixing lead content limit in fruits, pulses & juices” and “Beer, whisky & other alcoholic drinks may come under FSSAI lens” (FE, June 25). Both these state that food items such as mineral water, salt, jam, fish and meat, among others, have been brought under mandatory compliance of maximum limits of heavy metals such as tin, arsenic and cadmium. This is being done through an amendment to existing regulations for which a draft is being put in public domain seeking their comments.
Interestingly, the regulator has also taken the trouble of stepping up quality checks of packaged drinking water, milk and milk products and edible oils too. However, one really wonders that had the detection of presence of excessive lead and MSG in Maggi noodles not taken place, then all these “unsafe” food products would continue to have an indefinite “free play” in our daily lives. While it is good FSSAI has “awakened”, the government must also take steps to check the inputs that go into manufacturing such food items. Remember, fruits and vegetables grown on river beds are also likely to have high heavy metal content, because the river water—across India—is contaminated.
Similarly, various independent studies have found that wheat and rice that comes from our fields has high pesticide and fertiliser content. Where do we go?
S Kumar, Delhi
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