After banning smoking in public places and on screen, the Union Health and Family Welfare ministry is all set to make labelling of food products mandatory, informing consumers about ingredients, calories and saturated fat, in an apparent drive against junk food.
“In a month’s time, all food products in India will mandatorily have ingredients on one side (of the cover of food packets) and on the other side, nutritional value like calories and saturated fat”, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Anbumani Ramadoss said here today.
“People will know what to eat and how much to eat”, he told reporters after attending the convocation function of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), a deemed university.
Pointing out that junk food was contributing to juvenile diabetes, childhood obesity and hypertension, he said more needs to be done to enhance awareness. His ministry has sent advisories to states to ban junk food in educational institutions, Ramadoss said.
His ministry was also bringing out a national alcoholic policy — which would be recommendatory in nature to states and not mandatory — listing among other things, fixed timings for alcohol consumption, quantity limitation, age limit and holidays (alcohol-free days).
Ramadoss said he would introduce in the coming session of Parliament a clinical establishment act by which all hospitals and labs–big or small- would have to be registered. They would be regulated and they have to follow Indian Public Health Standards in a bid to streamline quality.
He said Indian doctors, who migrated to the West, were returning to India in droves, given the current opportunities, atmosphere and investments in this country.