‘States must use NHM funds for food safety’

NEW DELHI, 10th Jan:

In a bid to strengthen food safety systems in each state such as laboratories and enforcement infrastructure, states should use funds from National Health Mission (NHM), said the Union minister of health and family welfare, JP Nadda during a meeting with state health ministers and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. "Central Government is providing support to the tune of Rs 482 crore for the states. As many as 45 state labs are to be strengthened. I request the states to come forward with the proposals or give us the plan for strengthening the laboratories," said Nadda adding that finance will not be a constraint and each state should have at least one government food laboratory of high quality. Food borne diseases impose a huge economic burden on India amounting to as much as 0.5% of India's GDP or about $28 billion, according to researchers present at the meeting. All state health ministers, present during the meeting, agreed to the use of appropriate curriculum content on food and nutrition in schools to promote healthy eating habits and build awareness. States will also launch sustained campaigns in cities, districts and states under the banner of Safe and Nutritious Food (SNF) to develop city, district and state-wide ecosystems and declare them smart food state, city or district.

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