‘9% kids below 14 morbidly obese’

More and more children are falling prey to obesity and other illnesses because of increasing consumption of junk food, experts at the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) have said.

They have called for a regulatory framework to monitor the sale and advertisements of junk food as well as a ban on “pizzas, colas and burgers” in schools.

At a two-day conference held by the CSE in the Capital on food safety, the experts expressed concern over more and more obese children going under the knife.

Experts said surgery, though successful on some kids, cannot be a treatment option for millions. “Emphasis really needs to be on societal changes and prevention,” they said. High in transfats, salt and sugar, junk food also makes people vulnerable to hypertension, heart diseases and diabetes.

Making a presentation at the conference, obesity surgeon Ramen Goel said, “9% of children below the age of 14 are morbidly obese, while only 2% of overall population is morbidly obese.” “As many as 85% of parents with children less than 5 years of age are serving fast food more than 7-10 times a month. As many as 86% households in metros prefer food on the go. No wonder the processed food industry is growing annually by 40% – 60%,” he said. CSE director general Sunita Narain called for a ban on junk food in schools.

Experts said food safety regulatory structures in India were either too weak or simply ignored and a paradigm shift in its health policy was needed. They said the role of the ministry of health and family welfare should be recast and greater involvement of civil society ensured to enable this shift. The conference stressed on strengthening labelling norms specifically related to nutritional information.

CSE’s experts said that in 2010, Delhi-based NGO Uday Foundation filed a PIL in the Delhi High Court to get junk food banned in schools. “In January 2012, the court ordered Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to fix guidelines within six months. Junk food in schools has not been banned yet,” said an expert.  Sharad Vadehra, an expert, said, “The quantum of junk food advertising targeted at children is increasing.

U.S. dairy industry petitions FDA to approve aspartame as hidden, unlabeled additive in milk, yogurt, eggnog and cream

You probably already know that the FDA has declared war on raw milk and even helped fund and coordinate armed government raids against raw milk farmers and distributors. Yes, it’s insane. This brand of tyranny is unique to the USA and isn’t even conducted in China, North Kora or Cuba. Only in the USA are raw milk farmers treated like terrorists.

But now the situation is getting even more insane than you could have imagined: the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) have filed a petition with the FDA asking the FDA to alter the definition of “milk” to secretly include chemical sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose.

Importantly, none of these additives need to be listed on the label. They will simply be swept under the definition of “milk,” so that when a company lists “milk” on the label, it automatically includes aspartame or sucralose. And if you’re trying to avoid aspartame, you’ll have no way of doing so because it won’t be listed on the label.

This isn’t only for milk, either: It’s also for yogurt, cream, sour cream, eggnog, whipping cream and a total of 17 products, all of which are listed in the petition at

As the petition states:

IDFA and NMPF request their proposed amendments to the milk standard of identity to allow optional characterizing flavoring ingredients used in milk (e.g., chocolate flavoring added to milk) to be sweetened with any safe and suitable sweetener — including non-nutritive sweeteners such as aspartame.

This is all being done to “save the children,” we’re told, because the use of aspartame in milk products would reduce calories.

Towards Health & Wellness – Nutra India Summit & NuFFooDS from March 13

Vivanta by Taj-President, Mumbai, and the World Trade Centre, Mumbai, are the venues for the eighth edition of the Nutra India Summit, which is slated to take place between March 13 and 16, 2013, and NuFFooDS, a co-located health and food exhibition, respectively. They will bring together the leading players in the nutraceutical, functional food, dietary supplement and ingredient industries.

The theme of this year’s event, jointly organised by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the International Society for Nutraceuticals, Natural and Nutritionals (ISNNaN) and MM Activ (an Indian sci-tech communication company) in association with various industry bodies, is Health and Wellness through Nutraceuticals and Naturals.

Satej Dnyandeo Patil, minister of state, home (urban and rural), rural development and food and drug administration, Government of Maharashtra, is the patron of the event.

The summit
According to a 2012 estimate by Biospectrum Asia Edition, India’s nutraceutical market is estimated to grow to $2,731 million at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13 per cent by 2013.

The Indian subcontinent has rapidly transformed into a health and wellness-conscious consumer base. The demand for nutraceuticals, nutritionals and natural finished products has increased in the region.

The country’s robust economic growth has witnessed the entry of a number of international brands of fast moving health goods (FMHG) into the Indian market, and given Indian companies and entrepreneurs an opportunity to enter into partnerships with their counterparts from overseas.

The summit will also offer global players a conducive environment to connect and interact on a one-to-one basis with industry leaders and policy-makers and prepare a roadmap of India’s growth strategies, which will help them influence global business trends.

Besides the highlight lectures and a series of workshops and seminars, the event will feature the following:

International conference: Impact speakers from all over the world will discuss marketing strategies which are driving the industry’s growth, the progress of the regulatory mechanism, new ingredients and technologies, new product development, public awareness, consumer trends and current issues the industry is facing

NuFFooDS, the health and food expo: It brings industry leaders and small-scale entrepreneurs together under one roof to have face-to-face interactions and is a platform for the launches of new products. One of the highlights of the expo is the new segment for the health, nutrition, lifestyle and wellness sector to showcase their latest offerings

CEO Summit: This is a by-invitation-only networking evening, where business leaders will get together. There will be panel discussions by chief executive officers to discuss the current and future events in the aforementioned industries

Dieticians’ and Nutritionists’ Forum: Panels comprising dieticians and nutritionists will deliberate on the role of nutraceuticals and health foods in improving the lifestyle and well-being of the society. This forum will be conducted in association with the Indian Dietetic Association (IDA)

Poster sessions (Walkway of Discovery): This is a platform for young researchers to share ideas and present their thoughts in the form of interactive posters. It is expected to attract university students and students of research institutes from India and overseas

Morning Mantras: It is a platform where entrepreneurs can share thoughts, ideas and opinions and make the right streaming for their businesses, with tips from mentors and opinion leaders

Nutra Awards: At this ceremony, the industry will get together to felicitate the hard work and passion of the achievers in various areas of work, including exhibiting and poster design

NutraPartnering: NutraPartnering India, powered by InterlinX, assists all participants in planning business meetings in advance much before the events commences. It will facilitate tie-ups and collaborations

Apart from the aforementioned areas, the international conference would focus on the current trends driving new product development in functional foods and opportunities for the future. Over 600 delegates are expected to attend the conference, which will be addressed by over 70 experts, both from India and overseas.

The key focus areas would be ingredient innovation and novel dietary supplements, encouraging the right nutritional habits by creating health snack options, disease management through consumption of nutraceuticals and nutritionals, innovation in technologies and systems for smooth manufacturing processes, nutrigenomics (creating designer foods and offering personalised nutrition), quenching the thirst for wellness with health beverages, clinical trials and claims validation in nutraceuticals and functional foods, understanding and implementing of the regulatory framework and new food laws, growing market for traditional and ethnic foods with functional attributes, market strategies and brand innovation for commercialising nutraceuticals and dietary supplements and the Doctors’ and Nutritionists’ Forum.

NuFFooDS is a health and food expo which has emerged as both a business-to-business (B2B) and a business-to-consumer (B2C) platform for these sectors. It offers brand leaders and small- and medium-scale enterprises opportunities to meet their business objects. The products showcased at this expo include technologies, ingredients and the exhibiting companies’ latest range of offerings.

The expected footfall at the expo is over 5,000. The visitor profile comprises exporters, importers, sourcing companies, production and purchase professionals, doctors, nutritionists, research and development heads, etc.

CEO Summit
The CEO Summit is a networking dinner whose invitees are the who’s who of the nutraceutical, functional food and dietary supplement industries.

Its objective is to provide a platform where delegates can discuss the global business trends and issues. The CEO Summit looks at the current business environment from four points of view, namely industry, growth, strategy, right resources and balanced and strong finance.

The participants belong to the nutraceutical sector and will speak on specific subjects, including  the current growth drivers and barriers. The Grand Ball Room at Hotel Vivanta by Taj-President would host the CEO Summit and panel discussion, which will be followed by a networking dinner.

Nutra Awards
People who have made outstanding contributions towards the sector will be felicitated with the 8th Nutra India Summit Lifetime Achievement Award.

The new categories of awards are best ingredient, best exports company, best start-up/MSMe company and best business strategy and marketing.

The Hall of Fame award categories include industry recognition award for industry growth in the nutraceutical, nutritional and natural sectors, achievement in the areas of traditional knowledge in industry and society welfare, international promotion of the nutra sector to the international markets and exhibitor awards.

All the entries will be scrutinised by the jury appointed by the Nutra India Summit Advisory Council. There will no entries in the Hall of Fame award categories.

Doctors’ and Nutritionists’ Forum 2013
Slated to take place at the Vivanta by Taj-President, Mumbai, on March 15, 2013, the Doctors’ and Nutritionists’ Forum is a gathering for all dieticians, doctors, nutritionists and healthcare professionals to deliberate on lifestyle and health updates on current food habits, right supplements and awareness on food safety and security for the welfare of society.

The theme of the event, at which a panel comprising opinion leaders and mentors will deliberate on the new products in the nutraceutical and health food sector with a special focus on building strong immunity with nutraceuticals, is disease management through nutraceuticals, nutritionals and naturals. Registration to the forum is free for all members of the IDA.

InterlinX is an interactive partnering tool, which will actively catalyse your networking opportunities with your prospects to plan business meetings in advance, leading to tie-ups and collaborations.

The conference sessions, which will take place on the first three days of the show, will be addressed by over 75 experts from India and overseas. More than 700 experts are expected to attend the conferences.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013
After the inauguration of the event, there will be a series of inaugural lectures. The topics to be discussed on the opening day include new ingredients and novel routes to product innovation in functional foods and dietary supplements and quenching the thirst for wellness and health beverages.

The NuFFooDS exhibition and the poster interactions will be inaugurated on March 13, 2013, after which there will be high tea and the CEO Summit, which will be followed by a networking reception.

Thursday, March 14, 2013
On the second day of the event, there will be a Food For Thought lecture series focussing on health and wellness.

Topics include novel technologies with good manufacturing practices (GMP), market strategies and brand innovation for consumer reach out for nutraceuticals and dietary supplements, scientific validation of claims in nutraceuticals and functional foods and epidemiological claims in traditional and ethnic foods. The programme includes interactions and award ceremony.

Friday, March 15, 2013
The Food for Thought lecture series – focussing on health and wellness – will continue on the third day as well.

There will be a Doctors and Nutritionists Forum dealing with disease management through nutraceuticals, nutritionals and naturals. Another topic of discussion will be harmonisation of global regulatory framework and emerging Indian food regulatory scenario.

There will be an interactive panel discussion on the regulatory role of Team India, followed by the valedictory function.



Action by Nashik division of FDA against unlicensed FBOs legal: Zagade

The action taken by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Maharashtra against 81 unlicensed or unregistered food business operators (FBOs) in Nashik district is legal as stated by Mahesh Zagade, the state FDA commissioner, who added that the agency will not give into the FBOs’ illegal demands.

Chandrakant Pawar, joint commissioner, food, Nashik FDA, said, “After the February 4, 2013 deadline for licensing and registration (which has now been extended by a year), we started a drive to crackdown on all the unlicensed and unregistered eateries in the district, and have collected fines amounting to Rs 2.10 lakh so far.”

When quizzed about the pulling up of FBOs despite the extension to the deadline to February 4, 2014, Pawar said, “We have given them sufficient time to the food business operators to register or obtain licenses, but they continue to be disobedient. Therefore, we will continue to take stringent action against them.”