FDA Measures to Promote Public Health

FDA Measures to Promote Public HealthFDA Measures to Promote Public Health

Healthy life style and diet can reduce national spending on health care and increase life expectancy average by 10 years (at present the average life expectancy in the country is 73 years); therefore it is essential to promote healthy food products, ISNA quoted Dr. Rasoul Dinarvand, head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as saying.

The health ministry has launched a comprehensive program to control pesticides in staple agricultural produce.

This calendar year (started March 21) in some medical universities across the country, food sampling is being conducted and by the end of the year “we will provide a comprehensive picture of the major pollutants in food and agricultural products,” Dinarvand said.

“We also have formed a joint working group with the agriculture jihad ministry to promote healthy tomatoes, as some studies have indicated high amount of nitrates and pesticides in this commonly used produce,” he added.

Also regulations for rice imports have become stricter. Presence of heavy metals and pesticide residue in imported rice is evaluated by the FDA in special laboratories. A working group has been formed at the health ministry to monitor and analyze pesticides in agriculture products.

Although the per capita of pesticides usage is lower than average in the country, however, the health ministry’s concern is over smuggled imports or farmers using pesticides at the wrong time or in excess.

 Food Fortification

As many people suffer from Vitamin D deficiency therefore “we plan to enrich food products from the next year (starting March 21),” he said.

To offset vitamin deficiency, two major schemes have been considered, including supplemental and food enrichment plans.

Free Vitamin D supplements will be provided to people in villages, small towns and large city fringes from the second half of the year.

Food fortification needs a suitable framework to be implemented. At present, some studies in relation to fortification of milk, bread, and some other products is going on to determine the best option and product for enrichment.

Scientific studies indicate that Vitamin d deficiency can increase the risk of non-communicable diseases including different kinds of cancers, diabetes type 1, osteoporosis, MS and Immune dysregulation and autoimmunity disorders.

 Decline in Palm Oil

The FDA chief also announced decline in palm oil imports in the current year. Last year palm oil constituted 50% of edible oil imports but this year the imports have fallen to 30%.  

Statistics also indicate reduced consumption of the oil during the last seven months.

Research indicates that palm oil, which is high saturated fat and low in polyunsaturated fat, promotes heart disease.

Also since September 23, palm oil has been completely removed from dairy products. Using palm oil is allowed only in ice cream products.