Experts seek permanent panel to monitor food, ads

Experts seek permanent panel to monitor food, ads

Taking note of the ongoing controversy surrounding Maggi noodles, the National Referral Centre for Lead Poisoning in India (NRCLPI) has demanded that the State government set up a permanent panel to monitor food products and advertisements on them.

Addressing a press conference on Monday, Dr T Venkatesh, Director, NRCLPI, said the centre had three major demands - all advertisements should carry a batch number of the food product being advertised; every company should have an updated product test report that can be referred to whenever necessary and once faulty food is traced to a batch number; a government panel should take action against the company. “We are not against Maggi or any food product in particular. We are against the presence of lead in food,” Venkatesh added.

Venkatesh will soon take out a padayatra from Bengaluru to New Delhi to create awareness on the need for chemical-free food. People should know where and under what conditions food products are manufactured, he demanded.

Prof M Shashidara of NRCLPI said the State govern ment should constitute a permanent government panel to address all consumer-related issues. “The panel should be a permanent one and should have a testing facility where all the food meant for testing can be taken to.” 

Lead in Bal Bhavan soil
Lead is present not just in food but also in toys, cosmetic products such as lipstick or even the sand in children’s play areas, experts claim.

 “When we can have lead-free petrol, why can’t we have led-free toys and lead-free soil? The soil on which children play also has lead, Shashidhara said.

He said a test conducted at Bal Bhavan revealed the high presence of lead in the soil. Likewise, many other play areas have lead presence. “We also don’t know of mechanisms by which we can test the presence of lead in toys we use every day.

 There is also lead in turmeric powder. Lead is added to make the powder heavy and shining. We are attracted by its colour, but we are not aware that it has high lead content. Lipsticks are used without awareness of its lead content. We want to campaign against all these products,” Shashidhara said.

“Basically, we want to caution people - the daily material they use should be subject to tests. We have all the equipment and we invite people to come over and avail of the facility.

We can conduct tests that would show up presence of up to 22 particles. All such facilities and testing should be available everywhere for a nominal fee,” he said.

 

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