Stakeholders consultation on ‘Front of Pack Warning Labels (FOPL) on Unhealthy Packaged Foods in Rajkot
The distinguished guests and participants received a warm welcome by Shri Ramjibhai B Mavani, Ex MP Lok Sabha and Founder President of Rajkot Saher Jila Grahak Suraksha Mandal who introduced the topic of Front of Pack Lables and raised the need for a strong FOPL on unhealthy food packets in India. He also asserted that ‘as consumer organization, working at the grass root level we need to emphasize that a simple Warning Label symbol is always better for consumer understanding.”
While inaugurating the event, Shri Pradipbhai Dev, Hon’ble Mayor of Rajkot Corporation, said that “Consumption of ultra-processed foods and packaged foods is in the rise in Gujarat and irrespective of the socio economic background, it is putting the lives of our children and youth at peril. We can improve the situation by letting the consumers make the right choice with a simple warning label on the front of food packets for unhealthy foods. A front of pack warning label on packaged foods will help consumers identify the products that are high in salt, sugar and fat.”
Hemant Upadhaya, Project Advisor, Consumer VOICE made a presentation on the subject and spoke on the three important aspects that is of prime importance at the moment – Nutrition Profile Model or NPM threshold levels, the important of Warning lable as the design for FOPL and making it mandatory on food packets. He also reiterated the importance of ‘High In’ Warning labels.
The event was attended by important government officials including Dr J M Shah, Chief of Food and Drugs Dept., Gujarat, Dr Pankajbhai Rathod, Haealth officer, Rajkot Municipal Corporation and Dr Ajaybhai Bhandri , Health Officer, Rajkot Jilla Panchayat.
The special guests from the health fraternity were there to talk about the health harms of packaged foods and the need to curb salt, sugar and fats from the diet. It was attended by Dr R S Trivedi, Director and Dr Hareshbhai Trivedi, Head, Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhaya Government Medical College, Rajkot, Dr V K Gupta, Rajkot Cancer Hospital and Dr Dinesh Raj, Flex Cardio Care Hospital, Rajkot.
The event was well attended by consumer activists, youth, parents, doctors, health and nutrition experts besides media. It was well covered by both print and electronic media.