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VARANASI: While the National Food Security Bill (now an ordinance) has been widely debated by political parties and experts, a professor of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) wants to draw attention of policy makers towards proper implementation of Food Safety and Standard Act (FSSA) 2006.
"Why only Food Security Bill is in agenda of political parties, why is the Food Safety and Standard Act 2006 not being highlighted," wondered Anand Chaudhary, associate professor at the faculty of Ayurveda, Institute of Medical Sciences, BHU, Chaudhary.
High drama is on in political circle regarding food security bill that ensures cheap grain for one-third population of the country. Congress is adamant for the bill as game changer and other political parties are considering it as vote bank politics. "As an academician and university teacher, may I ask these policy makers about some facts.

Who will take care of implementation of FSSA, which was made to ensure service to the masses (poor as well as prosperous), regarding food available in market, either readymade, ready to eat or raw form," he said. Why policy makers are not ensuring the best services to commoner by strict implementation of provisions of FSSA 2006 amended in 2008, 2010 and 2012 for better services to every section of society. Why they are eyeing only vote bank that may be an easy target?
Expressing concerns regarding Ayurveda in FSSA, Chaudhary said: "I oppose the move of the government in which it permitted sale of honey by mixing antibiotics in a certain concentration. Honey is used as carrier in these permissible substances as food. Honey is a medicine and used in Ayurveda as an adjuvant to potentiate the effects of several Ayurvedic formulations. Antibiotics in honey need further debate from all angles."
"We invite attention of government on a clause of FSSA where it kept Ayurvedic medicinal oil at par to the edible oils. These are not the same. So, the criteria, quality and standard parameter of Ayurvedic oils may not be same as per pure edible coconut and mustard oil, he said. Ayurvedic oils are processed as per principles of Ayurvedic Pharmaceutics with many herbs and minerals. Parameters of these Ayurvedic oils are notified in Ayurvedic Pharmacopiea of India /Ayurvedic Formulary of India separately as medicine.
VOP seeks debate on bill
The Voice of People (VOP), an alliance of 16 civil society organisations from various districts of Uttar Pradesh, with the help of Child Rights and You (CRY), urges the central government to bring the National Food Security Bill after debate and discussion in Parliament.
"The National Food Security Bill is a crucial opportunity to end hunger and malnutrition in India and we hope that this will not be missed. The Right to Food Campaign will continue to protest against a process that stops debate and discussion over an issue that affects millions in the country," said Sruti Nagavashi, executive council member of VOP. She said the VOP is appalled by the undemocratic decision to promulgate an ordinance on food security.
 "We are also concerned that the process of implementation and identification of beneficiaries will not be done properly if such a hurried approach is taken," she said adding that there were many shortcomings in the bill, which is now an ordinance. The Bill does not provide any agriculture and production-related entitlements for farmers in spite of the fact that more than 60% of the people in this country were dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods.




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