New Delhi, Aug 20: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) affiliate organisation Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) has been questioning some of the government policies that have been allowing to compromise interest of people and economy of India as such. In one such matter, the SJM has criticized the issue of fortification of food products, its implication on consumers health and Indian SME sector. The SJM has also come down heavily on Vitamin cartel promoting chemical-based vitamins in India.
SJM co-convener Ashwini Mahajan said that they are organizing a meeting of stakeholders to discuss the implications of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India's (FSSAI) recent notifications on public health, affordability of foods, Indian SME sector and interference of foreign funded NGOs in Indian food systems.
Indian eating habits are healthy and wholesome and a proper Indian thali provides balanced diet for any individual. Mahajan said that adoption of excessive refined foods based on junk food has created imbalance in Indian food system. The RSS-affiliate body said that another major concern was adulteration in food system. FSSAI was created to ensure that safe and complete food was ensured to citizens. But during various reviews by Parliament and the Supreme Court reminded FSSAI to stick to their mandate and ensure safe and pure food for citizens. However, no improvement is visible.
It alleged that flooding of unauthorised and banned GM foods, adulterated foods, growing imports of junk foods, food quality of school meals, etc. are testimony to the FSSAI functioning which is more keen to please donors and sponsors. The recent notifications of FSSAI on fortification based on 100 per cent imported and synthetic vitamins which are harmful to public health as per medical research reports. Mahajan said, "See the list of partner organisations, they all are foreign funded NGOs which are funded by promoters and shareholders of vitamin companies. Vitamin Cartel is one of the most notorious cartel worldwide and heavily punished by European Commission and even recently President Trump also asked his government to crackdown on Vitamin cartel."
He further alleged that Vitamin Cartel may crack the Indian market with the help of some vested interest in Food Safety Authority in India. It demands CBI inquiry into the entire process and investigate the officers involved in this anti-people agenda. The investigation should also focus on how a few foreign funded NGOs are able to manipulate food safety and standards policy of India. How they could partner with FSSAI on sensitive matters when there is no Indian Institute involved as partner? This is a serious conflict of Interest and attempt to sabotage the entire system to benefit few select MNC and their promotors.
The SJM alleged that the fortification committees were created by hand-picked people which can be manipulated by vested interests. There is no transparent method used because people involved in decision making process have no experience of fortification and no understanding of its implication public health. This will not only hurt public health specially infants, lactating mothers, sensitive consumers groups, patients and many other stake holders but ruin the small and medium food companies and will make way to capture Indian food markets.