Bachchan and the BJP
Apropos of the news report “Cong attack on Amitabh for NDA event sparks row” (FE, May 26), the ongoing wordy duel between the Congress and the BJP over the presence of Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan at a mega-event to celebrate the BJP-led NDA government’s two years in office is highly undesirable. It is a different matter that it would have been more prudent on the part of the superstar himself not to have participated therein in the wake of his name figuring in Panama papers scandal even though he is the brand ambassador for the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign. In all fairness, his visible closeness to the BJP’s top brass could send some wrong signals about any fair investigation of alleged money laundering by the superstar. In any case, the Congress questioning the presence of Bachchan at the BJP event does not hold water as the charges against him are yet to be proved. Mind you, there are many MPs (including a few belonging to Congress) in Parliament who might be facing some serious (but yet unproven) criminal charges. Does the PM not share the Parliamentary proceedings with all of them whenever Parliament is in session?
Ensuring food safety
In the wake of the CSE study fining carcinogens in bread, I wonder for how long would people have to continue with a ‘trial-and-error’ method as far as food safety is concerned. All processed foods are supposed to be certified safe by FSSAI before they hit the market. First, it was the pesticides in the colas, then lead in noodles and now potassium bromate in breads. Except for a vague mention about preservatives, additives, raising agents on the packaging, the companies don’t disclose anything about what their products and their ill-effects. On top of this, we already have the menace of basic ingredients like sugar and salt being added in excessive amounts in items like soft drinks, chips, instant noodles—consumption of these products leads us to shoot past the recommended dietary allowance for sugar and salt. Fat and caffeine content, too, similarly poorly disclosed. Consumers are indeed trapped between the government’s push to food processing industries in the name of economic growth and the public ignorance about health hazards of the products. The solution is to enforce detailed labelling of all ingredients on the packet at the supply end and to be an informed consumer based on proper dietetic awareness at the demand end.
CV Krishna Manoj
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