Chennai, January 23, 2017: MSSRF participated in the south zone consultation on fortification organized by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India held on January 20 at Bengaluru. The meeting was part of an initiative to formulate a comprehensive policy for food fortification to address micro-nutrient deficiencies in the country. Facilitated by Department of Health Research, ICMR it was held at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru.
Dr R Rukmani, Director Food Security, who participated in the meeting proposed the following points on behalf of MSSRF for the Ministry’s consideration.
1. An integrated food cum fortification approach is necessary to eliminate micronutrient deficiency induced hidden hunger. The policy of food fortification has to incorporate a policy on biofortification too. Biofortification refers to the promotion of:
* Crops that are naturally nutrient rich such as moringa , sweet potato;
* Crops with enhanced nutrients through Mendelian breeding such as Zinc rich Bajra
* Crops with enhanced nutrients through genetic modification such as ‘Golden Rice’
2. Promotion of multiple micronutrient fortification of salt including iron, iodine, B12, folic acid, zinc and Vitamin A.
The policy for food fortification under Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 and FSSAI Rules, 2011 is expected to subsume existing isolated regulations / guidelines on fortification of food articles.
The south zone meeting follows a meeting chaired by Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, where it was decided to organize five zonal multi-stakeholder consultations. These consultations with line Ministries and stakeholders discuss various related issues. The South Zone meeting is yet a step forward on implementation of food fortification.
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.