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 the first of its kind initiative in India where any government has collaborated with a premier medical institute of the country for jointly performing trans-fat-related activities.
The idea is that 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 may be a shared responsibility between the governments, producers and consumers.
While signing the MoU, Sh. Kumar Rahul, Commissioner FDA, Punjab said, “Excessive use of trans fats within the state of Punjab is one among the leading risk factors of COVID-related mortalities within the state. He also emphasized that this MoU is extremely timely and need-based and its strict implementation will end in the reduction of varied non-communicable diseases (NCD) risk factors within the Punjab State.’
Dr Sonu Goel, Professor at the Department of Community Medicine and Faculty of Public Health, PGIMER, Chandigarh said, “This MoU is that the fruit of continuous advocacy with the govt of Punjab being done under our project ‘Strengthening management of hypertension services within the state of Punjab’ since last one year and its implementation will provide a further support to the ongoing strategies of the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) in regulating the utilization of trans fats in the diet.”
Dr. Poonam Khanna, professor, Department of Community Medicine and Faculty 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 within the state of Punjab which can be presented amongst the simplest practices of the country.
They also agreed to rearrange the capacity building workshop for Food Safety Officers (FSOs)and District Level Designated Officers (DOs) and strengthen the Food Safety Laboratory so on make sure the streamlining and sustainability of enforcement of trans fat regulation within the state of Punjab.
Other than this, the 2 parties discussed the action plan associated with the execution of this MoU within 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 starting from the design to the execution of the MoU.