Balanced, safe, nutritious food is preventive care; ensures health & wellness: Mansukh Mandaviya

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NEW DELHI: Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Mansukh Mandaviya inaugurated the maiden Global Food Regulators Summit 2023 and said that balanced, safe and nutritious food acts as preventive care, and ensures our health and wellness.

The union minister inaugurated the event in the presence of the Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare Narendra Tomar and special guest Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Development, Government of Nepal, Bedu Ram Bhusal, here on Thursday.

This summit is an endeavour of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) under the aegis of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) to create a global platform of food regulators to exchange perspectives on strengthening food safety systems and regulatory framework across the food value chain.

Mandaviya said, “Safe food and good health are complementary to each other. Balanced, safe and nutritious food acts as preventive care, and ensures our health and wellness.”

Underlining the importance of food safety, he stated, “It is critically important to deep dive into issues of food grains, food safety, and food security for global sustainable development. Food regulators have a highly responsible job to create an ecosystem under the One Health approach which provides an integrated platform to collectively look at the health of climate, human, animal and plant.”

He added that under the ongoing G20 India Presidency, One Health forms a key priority for the Health Working Group.

The guest of honour at the session, Narendra Singh Tomar said that food is a basic right and its availability and affordability must be ensured.
He said, “Considering the size and volume of the agriculture sector and food industry in India, it is vital to consider the entire value chain network, from agricultural inputs until products reach the end-consumer, as a single entity to ensure food safety and security.”

The Union Minister pointed out that farmers must always be at the heart of any policies regarding food supply so that they are not affected in any negative manner. He also made a strong case for promoting the use of millets by highlighting positive attributes of millets like their less water consumption compared to other crops, resilience to adverse climatic conditions and high nutritional value.

During the event, Mandaviya released Food-o-Copoeia, a collection of food category-wise monographs and a single point reference for all applicable standards for a specific product category detailing quality and food safety standards, labelling and claim requirements, packaging requirements, test methods and any other regulatory provisions as per the Food Safety and Standards Regulations (FSSRs) that need to be adhered to.

The Union Health Minister also launched the common regulator’s platform ‘SaNGRAH’ – Safe Food for Nations: Global Food Regulatory Authorities Handbook.

It is a database of Food Regulatory Authorities of 76 countries across the world and is also available in six regional languages such as Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam.

A Common Digital Dashboard was also launched during the Summit by the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare. The Dashboard is a common unified IT portal that provides comprehensive information on standards, regulations, notifications, advisories, guidelines, contamination limits and the latest developments by Food Regulators in India. (ANI)

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