A day after the health ministry's committee questioned the Centre of Science & Environment's report alleging pesticide residues in soft drinks, the director of Central Food Technological Research Institute, a premium government laboratory on food technology, on Wednesday suggested a 10-point agenda to ensure food safety to consumers.
Incidentally, the Mysore-based CSIR laboratory had conducted an analysis of pesticide residues in soft drink samples in 2003 after the CSE's first exposure.
V Prakash, director, CFTRI, says a thorough mapping of the quality of water used in soft drinks needs to be undertaken. Also, a study needs to be undertaken to ensure contamination like heavy metals and other unintentional pollutantdo not get into the drinks, besides fixing of standards for production and bottling.
The 10-pointagenda Prakash suggests include the proposal for clear standards being laid down for raw materials used in bottled drinks. He says there should be a clear set of finished product standards.
Themethodology of testing of bottled drinks should be clear and well indicated. It should be an approved accredited methodology and transparent.
Thedirector also urges the need for an integrated food law, to counter any fall in standards. The Food Safety Bill, which is before the Parliament, should be brought into effect at the earliest. The government should adopt a holistic approach, instead of an isolated approach in this regard, Prakash says.