Wednesday, December 23, 2015

പച്ചക്കറികളിലെ വിഷം കളയുന്ന 'വെജ് വാഷി'നെതിരെ കീടനാശിനി കമ്പനികള്‍ രംഗത്ത്


തിരുവനന്തപുരം: പച്ചക്കറികളിലും പഴങ്ങളിലും അടങ്ങിയിരിക്കുന്ന കീടനാശിനി വിഷാംശത്തിന്റെ തോത് മനസ്സിലാക്കി അത് പരമാവധി ഇല്ലാതാക്കാന്‍ കേരള കാര്‍ഷിക സര്‍വകലാശാല കണ്ടെത്തിയ 'വെജ് വാഷി'നെതിരെ ക്രോപ്പ് കെയര്‍ ഫെഡറേഷന്‍ രംഗത്തെത്തി. കീടനാശിനി കമ്പനികളുടെ കൂട്ടായ്മയാണ് ക്രോപ്പ് കെയര്‍ ഫെഡറേഷന്‍. വെജ് വാഷ് ഭക്ഷ്യോല്‍പന്നമാണെന്നും അത് ഉണ്ടാക്കി വില്‍ക്കുന്നതിന് ഭക്ഷ്യ വകുപ്പിന്റെ ലൈസന്‍സ് വേണമെന്നും കാണിച്ച് ഫെഡറേഷന്‍ വൈസ് ചാന്‍സലര്‍ക്ക് നോട്ടീസ് അയച്ചു. വെജ് വാഷിനെതിരെ നടപടി കൈക്കൊള്ളണമെന്ന് കാണിച്ച് ഭക്ഷ്യ സുരക്ഷാ കമ്മീഷണര്‍ക്കും നോട്ടീസ് അയച്ചിട്ടുണ്ട്.
വളരെ നാളത്തെ ഗവേഷണത്തിലൂടെ സര്‍വ്വകലാശാല വികസിപ്പെച്ചെടുത്ത പദ്ധതിയാണ് വെജ് വാഷ്. പച്ചക്കറികളില്‍ അടങ്ങിയിരിക്കുന്ന വിഷത്തിന്റെ തോത് മനസിലാക്കി അവയെ വിഘടിപ്പിച്ചു കളയാന്‍ കഴിയുന്ന പദാര്‍ത്ഥങ്ങള്‍ ഉള്‍പ്പെടുത്തിയാണ് വെജ് വാഷ് ഉണ്ടാക്കിയിരിക്കുന്നത്. വെജ് വാഷ് ചേര്‍ത്ത വെള്ളത്തില്‍ പച്ചക്കറികള്‍ കുറച്ചു സമയം മുക്കി വച്ചശേഷം നന്നായി കഴുകിയാല്‍ വിഷാംശം പൂര്‍ണമായി ഇല്ലാതാകുമെന്നതാണ് സര്‍വ്വകലാശാലയുടെ അവകാശവാദം. ഈ സാങ്കേതിക വിദ്യ ഉല്‍പ്പാദിപ്പിച്ച് വില്‍ക്കാന്‍ ആവശ്യമായ പരിശീലനവും സര്‍വകലാശാല നല്‍കിയിട്ടുണ്ട്. അതിന്റെ അടിസ്ഥാനത്തില്‍ സംസ്ഥാനത്ത് ധാരാളം കമ്പനികള്‍ ഈ വിദ്യയിലൂടെ ലായനി ഉണ്ടാക്കി വില്‍ക്കുന്നുണ്ട്. പച്ചക്കറികളിലെ വിഷാംശത്തിന്റെ പട്ടിക പ്രസിദ്ധീകരിച്ചപ്പോള്‍ മുതല്‍ ക്രോപ്പ് കെയര്‍ ഫെഡറേഷന്‍ പ്രതിഷേധവുമായി രംഗത്തുണ്ട്. വെജ് വാഷിന്റെ ഉത്പാദനം നിര്‍ത്തണമെന്നാണ് ഫെഡറേഷന്റെ ആവശ്യം. എന്നാല്‍ സര്‍വകലാശാല അതിന് തയ്യാറാകാതിരുന്നതോടെയാണ് നിയമനടപടിയുമായി മുന്നോട്ട് പോകാന്‍ കീടനാശിന് കമ്പനികള്‍ തീരുമാനിച്ചത്. പച്ചക്കറി കഴുകാനുപയോഗിക്കുന്ന ലായനി എങ്ങനെയാണ് ഭക്ഷ്യവസ്തു ആകുന്നതെന്നാണ് സര്‍വകലാശാലയുടെ സംശയം. ജനങ്ങളുടെ സുരക്ഷയെ മുന്‍നിര്‍ത്തി എടുത്ത തീരുമാനം കീടനാശിനി കമ്പനികളെ അസ്വസ്തമാക്കുന്നതെങ്ങനെ എന്നും സര്‍വകലാശാല ചോദിക്കുന്നു.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Food safety lab machines inaugurated

The government is taking steps to strengthen the laboratory facilities for checking for the presence of pesticides and other heavy metals and lead, in all food items, including fruits and vegetables across the State, Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar has said.
Inaugurating the Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry machines installed in Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam Government Analysis Labs (GAL) here on Thursday, Mr. Sivakumar said that the GC-MS machine would be installed at the GAL in Kozhikode.
A sum of Rs.1 crore had been allocated for purchasing Inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES) machines for detecting trace metals and arsenic in food at the labs at Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam, he said.
Food Safety offices were being set up in all 140 Assembly constituencies and 134 posts had been created towards the same. The GALs in Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode and Ernakulam were completing the final processes of securing NABL accreditation. The lab staff and scientists in these institutions would be given training at the CFTRI lab at Mysuru. He said that because of the stringent actions taken by the State the entry of pesticide-ridden vegetables from other States had decreased considerably.
Food Safety Commissioner T.V. Anupama said that the results of pesticide tests on vegetables and fruits would be available within three days.
Chief Government Analyst S.T. Thankachan, Directorof Public Health Lab S. Sunija, State Drugs Controller P. Hariprasad, and other senior officials were present.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Hotels told to display MSG use

The Commissioner of Food Safety has issued orders that all hotels, restaurants, bakeries, and other eateries which use monosodium glutamate (MSG or ajinomotto) in food items should display this information clearly on their premises.
“In the case of packaged foods, food manufacturers are expected to give clear label information that the food item contains MSG, with the warning that it should not be consumed by children below 12 months of age. We are insisting that the hotel industry should comply with the same regulation by declaring that food items contain MSG,” senior Food Safety officials said on Monday.
The orders issued by Commissioner of Food Safety T.V. Anupama said that all eateries should display a public notice which declared that “this establishment uses MSG as a flavouring agent in the following food items. These food items should not be given to children below 12 months of age.”
Food Safety officials said they wanted all hotels and eateries to comply with this regulation.
“We decided to bring in this regulation as MSG is being used indiscriminately by many eateries. In one of our recent inspections, in one eatery we found that table pepper was mixed with MSG,” an official said.
MSG is a naturally occurring chemical glutamate, which though has no flavour of its own, enhances other flavours and imparts added taste to the food and is a widely used as food additive.
No limit for ‘added MSG’
State Food Safety officials said that as far as the food additive MSG was concerned, the food regulatory authorities in the country had not fixed any limit for “added MSG.”

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Government mulls Rs 1,750 crore proposal for FSSAI, state food regulators

Faced with criticism from industry over approval system for food products, the government is mulling a Rs 1,750-crore proposal to strengthen central food regulator FSSAI as well as state bodies.
Addressing a CII conference, Health Secretary Bhanu Pratap Sharma said there is shortage of manpower and skill at both the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) as well as the state food & drug departments.
The government is working on strengthening the FSSAI and state FDAs through capacity building that includes setting up of new testing laboratories and upgrading the existing ones, he said, adding that the focus is also on increasing awareness about the importance of food safety.
"We have formulated a scheme for that (capacity building) and that scheme was for both food and drug. The drug part has been approved by the Cabinet recently in the month of August and there is a similar proposal for the food which is likely to be approved by the competent authority soon enough," Sharma said.
He said the proposal, once approved, would definitely give a strong fillip to the capacity building of the laboratories and other food regulatory set-ups.
According to sources, the Health Ministry has moved a proposal for granting Rs 1,750 crore, which includes about over Rs 800 crore for the FSSAI and the remaining amount for the state food regulators.
The Secretary said there are about 160 labs for testing of food in the country, out of which 72 are in the government sector and 80 odds are private accredited labs
The ministry has evaluated all the government's labs to find out the deficiencies, Sharma said.
Sharma also mentioned that the FSSAI only sets standards for different food products and the implementation is done by the state governments.
The states give licences and they enforce the Act and all the prosecutions, he added.
The FSSAI has come into limelight after it imposed the ban on Maggi in June this year, which was later lifted by the Bombay High Court. In August this year, the Supreme Court junked the FSSAI's advisory that asked manufacturers to get clearance for products even if the ingredients were already approved or deemed safe.
After Maggi ban, industry as well as Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal criticised the FSSAI.
Badal had said that the FSSAI's decision created "fear psychosis" in the food processing industry.
Food regulator FSSAI, which comes under ambit of Health Ministry, lays 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.
Source:http://www.dnaindia.com/money/report-government-mulls-rs-1750-crore-proposal-for-fssai-state-food-regulators-2150783