Sunday, March 27, 2011

CHEWING TOBACCO-FOOD OR NOT-A NEW DEBATE.

                          Can smokeless and chewing tobacco, India's major public health problem, be called food items and then be tested and asked to reveal contents? That's what the Union health ministry now wants to find out.                           The ministry has called a crucial consultation with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) — the nodal body to implement the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 — on April 4 and 5.
The Act replaced the earlier Prevention of Food Adulteration Act of 1954 in which smokeless tobacco was not considered a food item. The ministry now wants to see that if a new clause can be brought into the Act declaring smokeless tobacco as food that people eat. 
                             According to FSSAI CEO Dr V N Gaur, "All sections of the Act have already been notified. In a few weeks time, we will notify all the rules under the new Food Safety Act so that it starts to get implemented. At present, the Act clearly says tobacco is not a food item."
                             He added, "However if the ministry wants to define it as a food item, a new clause has to be brought and put into the Act. PFA and FSSAI Act say that anything eaten is a food item."
                                Ministry officials said at present, smokeless tobacco comes under no particular category. The rules to regulate tobacco use aren't proving effective. "If we bring it under a food item, smokeless tobacco items will have to be tested for their ingredients and thus prove how harmful they are," the officials said.

1 comment:

pankaj said...

it shoud be in food categary