Monday, 7 June 2021

Strengthening Trans Fatty Acid Regulation in the State of Punjab: FDA, Punjab Signs MoU with PGIMER

By 121 News
Chandigarh, June 07, 2021:- 
Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Government of Punjab and Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen the implementation of trans fat regulation in the state of Punjab. This is first of its kind initiative in India where any state government has collaborated with a premier medical institute of the country for jointly working on the trans-fat-related activities. The idea is the creation of 'Tandrust (Healthy) Punjab'. The agreement was  signed to coincide with June 7- World Food Safety Day, 2021 which highlights that Food Safety is a shared responsibility between the governments, producers and consumers.

While signing the MoU, Kumar Rahul, Commissioner FDA, Punjab said that excessive use of trans fats in the state of Punjab is one of the leading risk factors of COVID-related mortalities in the state. He also emphasized that this MoU is very timely and need-based and its strict implementation will result in the reduction of various non-communicable diseases (NCD) risk factors in the Punjab State.'

Dr Sonu Goel, Professor at the Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, PGIMER, Chandigarh said, "This MoU is the fruit of continuous advocacy with the Government of Punjab being done under our project 'Strengthening management of hypertension services in the state of Punjab' since last one year and its implementation will provide an additional support to the ongoing strategies of the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) in regulating the use of trans fats in diet.

Dr. Poonam Khanna, Associate Professor, Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health briefed that various cohort studies have found statistically significant correlations between TFA intake and weight gain and other non-communicable diseases.

The two parties agreed to conduct and analyse the surveillance sampling drive of trans fats in the state of Punjab which will be presented amongst the best practices of the country. They also agreed to organize the capacity building workshop for Food Safety Officers (FSOs)and District Level Designated Officers (DOs) and strengthen the Food Safety Laboratory so as to ensure the streamlining and sustainability of enforcement of trans fat regulation in the state of Punjab. Other than this, the two parties discussed the action plan related to the execution of this MoU in the coming months.

Dr. Ravneet Kaur, Director, Food Safety Lab, Punjab was happy to collaborate with PGIMER Chandigarh and appreciated the willingness and efforts of the PGIMER Team ranging from the planning to the execution of the MoU.

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