India’s health officials clash over hazards of junk food

New Delhi  – What was meant to be a consultation among stakeholders in the health sector to ensuring quality of food products, convened by World Health Organsiation, WHO and the National Centre for Disease Control in New Delhi witnessed two officials of India’s federal health ministry clashing over junk food and health hazards.Dr.Jagdish Prasad, Director General of Health Services in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said, in a globalised era, the food market was thrown open to multinational food chains, which dish out unhealthy junk food – a primary cause of obesity and related health risks. Dr. Prasad pointed fingers on the Commerce Ministry for giving permissions to these food chains without any regulation or enforcing any standards on their products.
“Obesity is causing so much problems.  With globalisation, we have given permission for so many Pizzas, Burgers and so many food product chains, causing so many problems, nobody is realising its harmful effects at the moment.  Our country has become the diabetic capital of the world, 6.5% of the population are suffering from diabetics,” warned Dr. Prasad.
CEO of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India Y.S. Malik, the regulatory body on food products, which comes under the Ministry of Health challenged Dr. Prasad and asked him to validate his claims.
“I would very much welcome him to make some recommendations and give me the science-based evidence, because I can’t be setting anything on the basis of what “I feel or you feel”. He should be giving me science-based evidence, data that this is what it is; please do it, I will jump at it,” Malik told science portal,Indian Science Journal on the sidelines of the consultation meet.

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