New Delhi: Friday, 14 October 2016: The first ever summit on food fortification in India between October 16 & 17 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi is all set to reinvigorate interest, awareness and interventions in food fortification. The stakeholders attending the summit will also amplify India’s scale commitment to combat hidden hunger or micronutrient deficiency among its large population.
Over 70% of the Indian population still consumes less than 50% of the recommended dietary allowances and micronutrients. Micronutrient malnutrition continues to remain a serious health problem that demands coordinated and massive efforts at the national level. The economic returns from investing in nutrition are high- 16 rupees are generated for every rupee invested.
In the above context, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has formulated a comprehensive regulation on fortification of foods namely ‘Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulations, 2016’. These regulations set the standards for food fortification and encourage the production, manufacture, distribution, sale and consumption of fortified foods. The regulations also provide for specific role of FSSAI in promotion for food fortification and to make fortification mandatory. This sets the premise for the national summit on fortification of food.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) will be co-hosting the summit in active partnership with 9 related central ministries / departments and 12 key development partners.
The nine related Central Ministries/Departments partnering at the summit are Department of Health and Family Welfare [Matters relating to nutrition/malnutrition and Administrative Ministry of FSSAI and the Indian Council for Medical Research], Department of Food and Public Distribution [Fortification for Public Distribution System], Ministry of Women and Child Development [Fortification of food supplied under the Integrated Child Development Services Scheme], Department of School Education & Literacy [Fortification of Food supplied under the Mid-Day Meal Scheme], Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion [Fortification of edible salt], Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries [Fortification of milk], Ministry of Food Processing Industries [Promote processing of fortified food], Department of Biotechnology [Generating scientific evidence and indigenous technologies to support food fortification],Department of Health Research [Research on food fortification through Indian Council for Medical Research].
The twelve key participating development partners at the summit are PATH, TATA TRUSTS, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), Food Fortification Initiative (FFI), Global Alliance on Improved Nutrition (GAIN), International Council for Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (ICCIDD),Micronutrient Initiative, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO), World Food Programme (WFP) and Coalition for Food and Nutrition Security in India.
The summit will bring together experts from the nutrition and development communities as well as representatives from state governments, academics, technical supporters and donors to beneficiaries past and present to discuss and debate – presenting in-depth analysis and impact assessments, important and case study examples of food fortification programs as well as learnings and challenges to build on so effective food fortification efforts can carry on delivering in the future. There will be a number of themes including the roles of industry, government, academia and civil society; improving compliance and measurement; cost-benefit analysis; modelling potential for impact and the required investments.