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Union government to ban junk food near schools

The union government is planning to ban junk food near schools. The union government has issued a draft regulation in a gazette against the sale, distribution and advertisement of junk food within 50 meters of a school campus, including in the school canteen and hostel kitchen.

“The draft was in the works for sometime but this is the first time that it has been formally notified. The challenge lies in defining junk as it is a very loose term. What we are looking at is prohibiting ready-to-eat packaged food that’s high in fat, salt, and sugar in and around schools,” said Pawan Agarwal, CEO, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) that notified the draft regulations.

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The proposed law prohibits sponsorship from brands selling food and beverages with low nutritional value such as carbonated drinks, chips, pre-cooked packaged noodles, fries etc at sporting, school and other events for children.

The food authorities in the state will conduct surveillance and periodic inspection to ensure compliance, and failure to comply with the regulations could lead to action against the defaulters by the state education department or the affiliation body.

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