July 19, 2011
The Centre on Monday told the Delhi High Court that it was against sale of junk food and carbonated drinks in and around educational institutions and has communicated with the Chief Ministers and others in this regard.
“Chief Ministers and Health Ministers of all the States have been told to consider issuing instructions to the Vice-Chancellor of all Universities, including Medical and Agricultural Universities, for withdrawal of junk foods and carbonated drinks from canteens of educational institutions,” an affidavit, filed on behalf of the Health Ministry, said.
The affidavit was filed before a Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna which has been hearing a PIL, filed by an NGO, seeking a ban on junk foods and aerated drinks in and around schools and other educational institutions. The court had asked the Health Ministry to apprise it of the steps taken to create awareness among young students about “harmful effects of increased consumption of junk food.”
The Centre, in the affidavit, filed by Dhir Singh, Assistant Director of the Foods Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), admitted junk foods do cause health hazards and it was also considering framing of guidelines for making available quality food in schools and other institutions. It said that State Governments have been told to consider issuing instructions for withdrawal of aerated beverages and junk foods from canteens of schools and colleges.