FSSAI under fire for Coca-Cola alliance
The move to rope in Coca-Cola by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for imparting training to street vendors to ensure safe and nutritious food has run into a rough weather as activists have raised their eyebrows over the initiative.
Dubbing the food regulator's partnership antithetical to its mission, Amit Srivastava of IndiaResource Centre said, "The step is misguided and must be scrapped. The FSSAI should not enter into partnerships with entities it is supposed to regulate as it ensures conflicts of interest."
"It is now widely recognised around the world that vast majority of Coca-Cola products are neither safe nor nutritious and Coca-Cola is the least qualified company to provide input on food safety and healthy nutrition," said Srivastava, who has been spearheading a global campaign against the soft drink major over exploitative usage of groundwater.
"Coca-Cola is a gross violator in India and remained the target of many communities for creating water shortages and pollution," he added.
Noted environmentalist Vandana Shiva has also condemned the FSSAI's contract with Coca-Cola and other MNCs to teach Indian street vendors about hygiene and food safety.
"Given Coca-Cola track record of contamination, water theft, blatant transgression of Indian environmental laws in the past and expulsions from the country, they are not even qualified to teach Indians about food safety. We request FSSAI chairman to cancel the contract as this is against India's interests and unjustly imposes industrial standards on small scale vendors, artisanal producers and women," Shiva said.