Nagpur: The FDA diktat banning serving of snacks on newspaper or magazine papers is being mocked at by vendors across the city with disdain. In other words, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) is not implementing its order strictly. The outcome is there to see. The vendors, be it on streets or small hotels, are serving the ‘nashta’ (Samosas, alubondas, mixture, bhajiyas et al) on pieces of newspapers and magazines with impunity.
A few months ago, the FDA had issued an order banning serving of ‘nashta’ by roadside eateries, hotels and restaurants. The diktat followed discovery of toxic substances such as dye Isobutyl Fatale, dye-n-Isobuty Acrylate and other harmful ingredients contained in the printing ink. These toxic substances could pose hazard to the lives of consumers, the experts had revealed. Even though claims were being made that the printing ink used in newspapers is non-toxic but still the possibility of hot ‘nashta’ melting the ink and getting mixed in the eatables could not be ruled out. FDA officials said that the campaign will educate people and vendors about the dangers of wrapping edibles in paper. FDA officials have already started campaigning to educate people not to use newspaper for wrapping food items.
In the FSSAI advisory also that read, “Newspapers are widely used as absorbent paper in small hotels, by vendors, and in homes. But the printing ink contains multiple bioactive materials (including harmful colours, pigments, binders, additives and preservatives) which can cause negative health effects.” “Newspapers should not be used to wrap food or absorb excess oil from fried food. There is an urgent need to discourage the use of newspaper as food packaging material by creating awareness amongst businesses, especially in the unorganised sector,” the advisory further read.