Civil Society Organisations Demand Elimination of Trans Fats from All Foods, By 2022
August 08, 2019 Punjab: In a bid to make food safer and healthier, Generation Saviour Association, CUTS International, Citizen Consumer and Civic Action Group(CAG), Consumer VOICE and DISHA Foundation, presented an Eight point Charter of Demands to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). The organizations backed FSSAI’s proposal to limit the maximum amount of trans fat content in vegetable oils, vegetable fat and hydrogenated vegetable oil to 2 per cent by weight as against the current rule of 5% in India as part of India’s goal to make the country trans fat-free by 2022.
Mr. Ashim Sanyal, COO, Consumer Voice said, “The most effective way to eliminate industrially produced trans fat in food is through regulatory action.” Adding to it, Opinder Preet Kaur President, Generation Saviour Association said, “The proposed regulation has set this target only for fats and oils and has excluded the overall presence of trans-fats in various food products.” Generation Saviour Association is working with the Punjab government and the food industry in Punjab to accelerate the elimination of industrially produced trans fats from the entire food chain. “The charter of demands submitted by our organization, Generation Saviour Association, includes the need for strict implementation of Tras fat regulation at state level; including setting up of required infrastructure mechanisms such as well equipped labs, establishing institutional mechanisms like mandatory assessment and reporting and also the sensitisation and capacity building of State Food Commissioners and Food Safety Officers for implementation of Trans Fats regulations”, Ms Gill added.
George Cheriyan, Director, CUTS International told that most processed foods like biscuits, snacks, wafers or traditional and street food such as jalebi, laddoo, samosa, puffs and cakes, popular across age and socio economic groups, contain high amounts of trans fats. Removal of these fats from the food supply will be a big step in reducing the risk of heart diseases. Currently Punjab is the Heart Attack capital of the country.
Generation Saviour Association announced that they will be working as a coalition with other State NGOs to create a nation-wide awareness and demand for healthier and safer foods, free of trans fats.