According to an article from the New York Times, our government has got suckered into hiring a processed food industry advocate to advise on regulating the same industry!
Just imagine hiring a tobacco industry advocate to head a government committee that is supposed to regulate the tobacco industry! Or hiring a Nestle advocate to lead a government committee to investigate and regulate Nestle!
This is so ridiculous that I don’t think this is a case of high-level corruption. It is merely a case of the senior-most bureaucrats and ministers in the food-related ministries being misled and taken for one hell of a ride.
The Government of India has appointed Mr Sesikeran to head an expert panel to review the proposed new FSSAI labelling system. The new system will make it mandatory for unhealthy HFSS (High Fat Salt or Sugar) food to carry a red warning label. This labelling system is an excellent proposal from the FSSAI, and the government must go ahead with it. But due to food Industry pressure, the government has backtracked and agreed to put the labelling rules on hold and constituted this “expert” committee.
This gentleman, Mr Sesikeran, may be a retired senior government official, and maybe a leading figure in the world of nutrition. But the fact is that he represents the interests of an industry body and that makes it inappropriate to put him in charge of creating regulation for the same industry!
The Modi government must act and remove him immediately! And the government must disassociate itself from the International Life Sciences Institute.
Engaging with industry lobbies is excellent and necessary. But putting them in charge of policy and regulation is an abdication of government responsibility.
Read the NY Times Article Here: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/16/health/ilsi-food-policy-india-brazil-china.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share