FSSAI to send notice to Amul for ‘disparaging’ fortified milk category

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on August 26, 2019

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is set to take dairy major Amul to task for “disparaging” the fortified milk category.

The food safety authority soon plans to issue a notice to Amul for its comments on fortified milk category, for which standards have been finalised by the FSSAI’s Scientific Panel.

Pawan Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI told BusinessLine, “We will be issuing a notice to Amul for disparaging the fortified milk category as this can send wrong signal to the public... as if there is something wrong with fortified milk.”

He said the dairy major has been making disparaging comments about fortified milk despite being given an opportunity to present its views to FSSAI’s scientific panel. Agarwal stated that the food fortification regulations have been finalised by the scientific panel after careful deliberations and a due consultation process.

In October 2016, FSSAI had operationalised the regulations for fortification of five categories of staples which includes wheat flour and rice (with iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid) , milk and edible oil (with Vitamins A and D) and double fortified salt (with iodine and iron). After consultation with stakeholders, the food safety authority finalised these regulations last year. It is not mandatory for companies to fortify their food products. The regulator believes this will help the country tackle high burden of micro-nutrient malnutrition in India. The regulator has been engaging with both private and public milk processors to scale up milk fortification voluntarily over the past two years. It had said that notification of fortification regulations will create an enabling environment and encourage food businesses to adopt food fortification.

However, Amul has kept out of the milk fortification initiative reportedly stating that it does not want to go for synthetic or artificial fortification. The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) has also been pushing for milk fortification. In the past two years, 25 milk federations/producer companies or milk unions across 20 States in the country have been fortifying about 55 lakh litres of milk per day, according to NDDB’s estimates.

Published on August 26, 2019

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