Restricting use of newspaper for food packaging

Recently the below guidelines have been issued to restrict the use of newspaper as food packaging material. You are invited to review them and share your inputs on how best awareness and implementation of the same can be done on the ground with active citizen participation.

We look forward to your inputs!

Advisory to restrict use of newspaper for food packaging

1. Use of newspapers for wrapping, packing and serving food is a common practice in India. However, this is a food safety hazard. Wrapping food in newspapers is an unhealthy practice and the consumption of such food is injurious to health, even if the food has been cooked hygienically. Indians are being slowly poisoned due to newspaper being widely used as food packaging material by small hotels, vendors and also in homes in lieu of absorbent paper.

2. Foods contaminated by newspaper ink raise serious health concerns since the ink contains multiple bioactive materials with known negative health effects. Printing inks may also contain harmful colors, pigments, binders, additives, and preservatives. Besides chemical contaminants, presence of pathogenic microorganisms in used newspapers also poses potential risk to human health.

3. Newspapers and even paper/ cardboard boxes made of recycled paper may be contaminated with metallic contaminants, mineral oils and harmful chemicals like phthalates which can cause digestive problems and also lead to severe toxicity. Older people, teenagers, children and people with compromised vital organs and immune systems are at a greater risk of acquiring cancer-related health complications, if they are exposed to food packed in such material.

4. Newspapers should not be used to wrap, cover, and serve food or to absorb excess oil from fried food. There is an urgent need to discourage the use of newspaper as food packaging material by creating awareness among businesses, especially unorganized food business operators and consumers on its harmful effects. Suitable steps need to be taken to restrict and control the use of newspapers for packing of food material.

5. Commissioners of Food Safety of all States/UTs are requested to initiate a systematic campaign for generating awareness amongst all stakeholders to discourage the use of newspapers for packing, serving and storing of food items. more  

View all 68 comments Below 68 comments
FSSAI needs to move from advisory to enforcement. why is an organisation with such heavy resources failing to drive enforcement. why are people not being engaged to help on ground. more  
कन्ज़्यूमर फोरम मे कुछ नही मिल रहा कम से कम स्टेट लेवल तक. स्टेट लेवल का अध्यक्ष कहता है की कोर्ट तुम्हारे नुकसान का हिसाब लगाने के लिये नही बैठा है. कंपनी की गलती है और जो हमसे उसने पैसे ऐंठें थे वोही डेढ़ साल बाद मुकदमा झेलने के बाद वापिस दिलाकर फोरम कहता है की यह मानसिक उत्पीड़न का हर्जाना है.धिक्कार है ऐसे फोरम और ऐसी व्यवस्था पर. इन सब से तो यही प्रतीत होता है की सरकार चाहती है की मारपीट कर ही सब मुद्दे सुलझा लेने चाहिये यानी की बंदूक राज़. more  
The target group is the entire nation, with multiple groups, cultures, languages, and beliefs. The mass education and motivation must consider all such aspects. Pictorial representation of the hazards, and benefits for adhering to new norms are essential. Schools, and other educational institutions, NGOs, and SHGs, everyone shall participate with practical demonstration of simple alternative solution, making them catchy and attractive. Rewards may be introduced to help quick penetration and acceptance of the new norm. Rewardees shall be given media coverage in their local areas to help build up acceptance. Must be patient. It will take time to change. Yet the overall national reward in terms of improved health of our citizen is motivating factor. more  
1. IT SHOULD BE MADE MANDATORY FOR EACH AND EVERY NEWSPAPER TO SUPERSCRIBE ON THE FRONT AND LAST PAGE OF NEWSPAPER THAT THE USE OF NEWSPAPERS FOR WRAPPING,PACKING AND SERVING FOOD IIEMS IS VERY INJURIOUS TO HEALTH. 2.EVERY NEWSPAPER SHOULD CONTAIN A PLAIN/HARMLESS PAPER THAT CAN BE USED FOR WRAPPING,PACKING ETC. 3. BETTER QUALITY INKS,COLORS AND DYES THAT ARE LESS HARMFUL BE USED FOR PRINTING NEWSPAPERS. 4. FOR MANUFACTURING THE PAPER FOR THE NEWSPAPERS,MANY TREES HAVE TO BE CUT, HENCE, BETTER MORE N MORE PEOPLE SHIFT TO ELECTRONIC,INTERNET/SOFTWARE MEDIA FOR NEWS AND ADVTS. ETC. more  
Following points suggested - 1 Printing inks contain harmful colours, pigments, binders, additives, and preservatives. Besides chemical contaminants, presence of pathogenic micro organisms in used newspapers also poses potential risk to human health.Similarly the practice of stapling foodstuffs is also harmful . 2 Mineral oil-based printing inks for newspapers contain mineral oil which consists of various types of hydrocarbon molecules that can exist as Mineral Oil Saturated Hydrocarbons . These hydrocarbons usually convert into gases by evaporation that eventually penetrates food items creating health complications. 3 The hot oil in, say, pakoras, facilitates the seeping of chemicals from ink and paper into the food. 4 Some offset printing ink formulations use vegetable oils rather than mineral oils; however, they have strong odours and should not be used in food packaging The awareness to public can be given in mass media . explaining harmful effects in newspapers, social media, tv, cinemas, posters/boards at hospitals ,railway stations, bus stops/terminals, school books, debates, lectures in schools and colleges ,messages in mobiles, movies,government laws and surprise monitoring at packages industries and shops. more  
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