New Delhi: Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) has demanded CBI inquiry into the recent notifications of fortification by Food Security and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) impacting public health, affordability of foods, Indian SME sector and interference of the foreign funded NGOs in the Indian food sector. In a statement issued on August 20, the SJM demanded investigation against the FSSAI officers involved in it.
“The investigation should also focus on how 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 MNCs and their promoters,” the statement said.
The SJM said that the fortification committees in FSSAI were created by hand-picked people which all can be manipulated by the vested interests, there is no transparent method used because most of the people involved in decision making process have no experience of fortification and no understanding of its implication on public health. SJM demands that till the investigation is over, the existing officers of FSSAI must be removed and all committees which are having any foreign funded NGOs must be dismantled with immediate effect. No foreign funded NGOs or advisory body should be allowed to be part of the decision-making process. FSSAI must be reconstituted under the well-known experts in the field of food and public health.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority was created to ensure safe and wholesome food for the citizens. But flooding of unauthorised and banned GM foods, adulterated foods, growing imports of junk foods, food quality of school meals, etc. show the FSSAI has deviated from its path. Recent notifications of FSSAI on fortification are based on 100% imported and synthetic vitamins, which are harmful to public health as per medical research reports. Crossing their mandate, FSSAI is passing orders to push fortification of foods. The list of partner organisations shows they all are foreign funded NGOs.
The SJM said that in place of focusing on the fundamental duty, the FSSAI seems to be more keen to please the donors and sponsorers of their activities which are not directed towards the mandate of the law. “Crossing their mandate, FSSAI is passing various orders to push fortification of foods. If you 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. Thailand Government refused to make fortification mandatory as proposed by these cartels. But Vitamin Cartel are seemingly getting success and they can crack the Indian market with the help of some vested interest.