Expert panel set up by food regulator FSSAI has recommended additional tax on highly processed food items and sugar-laced beverages. Panel also recommended ban on advertising of junk foods on children’s channels or during kids’ shows on TV.
- 11-member panel on ‘Consumption of Fat, Sugar and Salt (FSS) and its health effects on Indian population’ suggests ways to cut consumption of unhealthy food products.
- Imposing additional tax on the purchase of commodities can be a pragmatic approach to reduce their intake.
- It aims to reduce rising burden of chronic diseases like cancer and diabetes.
- The nutrition-related programmes of the government can be supported through profit from taxing unhealthy food products.
- The report serve as a guideline document for all the stakeholders, including the industry, the FSSAI and consumers, in reducing consumption of fat, sugar and salt through processed food products.
- Advertisement ban for foods high in Fat Sugar Salt (FSS) during children TV shows or kids TV channels is suggested by the panel.
- Celebrity endorsements of such foods need to be discouraged and online social media websites should also comply with advertising ban for unhealthy foods.
- Panel recommended reliable monitoring systems to examine FSS intake periodically at the national level.
Need for Regulation
The rising burden of mortality and morbidity due to chronic diseases such as cardiovascular, respiratory diseases, diabetes and cancers is alarming. The burden of chronic diseases will tend to increase in the next 25 years. In order to tackle this simple sugars and refined carbohydrates should be reduced. These come largely from sugar sweetened beverages and processed snacks with high added sugar content.
Food Safety And Standards Authority of India
- The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has been established under Food Safety and Standards , 2006.
- FSSAI has been created for laying down science based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption.
- Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India is the Administrative Ministry for the implementation of FSSAI.
- Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) appointed by Government of India.
- Chairperson is in the rank of Secretary to Government of India.
Source : The Hindu
GS II : Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources