The FSSAI on Thursday launched a Food Fortification Resource Centre (FFRC) to provide technical support advocacy and expertise in all aspects of food fortification during a special meeting, which was attended by Bill Gates.
In the meeting, the founder of Microsoft and trustee of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates, extended his support to the Indian Government’s new initiatives to curb the problem of malnutrition in the country.
“I am encouraged by the government’s new initiatives to advance India’s nutrition goals. In particular, I congratulate FSSAI on the launch of the Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulation (2016) and continued improvement on salt iodisation,” Bill Gates was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the FSSAI.
The meeting was also attended by secretaries of eight different ministries, including Health, Woman and Child Development and Human Resources and Development, along with members of Tata Trust at the headquarters of Food, Safety and Standards of Authority of India (FSSAI).
An online portal of FCTC was also launched during the meeting, which would function as a knowledge dissemination and interaction platform across stakeholders.
An alarming 70 per cent of Indian population consumes less that 50 per cent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of micronutrients.
Over a quarter of the world’s vitamin A deficient pre-school children are in India. About 70 per cent of the schoolchildren and over 50 per cent of women suffer from anaemia caused by iron deficiency in the country.
According to FSSAI, the standards and logo for fortified foods that were released in October already has become a rallying point for large-scale food fortification.
Several states are already in the advanced stages of adopting fortified foods in government programmes.