Concerned over the rise in use of margarine in hotels and restaurants, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has raised the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and suggested that the government needs to have control over the sale of margarine as it is adversely affecting health of the people and causing financial loss to dairy farmers.
“Gadkari had recently written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the matter.
“Taking immediate cognisance of the demand, the Prime Minister’s Office directed the FSSAI which immediately issued clarification, directives and future course of action to control the use of the margarine in edible items,” according to an official release.
Margarine has a negative impact on human health due to the presence of large amounts of trans fat in it. Its use has increased significantly in hotels and restaurants.
“This is affecting adversely the health of the people and the sale of the butter made from the cow milk, fetching financial loss to the farmers. The government needs to have control over the sale of margarine,” the Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) said.
Being a cheaper alternative, margarine is used as a substitute to butter, which has a negative impact on the income of dairy farmers.
“FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) has clarified that limit of trans fats is fixed at not more than 5 per cent in bakery and industrial margarine.
“The process is on for reducing the limit of trans fats in edible oils and fats to not more than 3 per cent by 2021 and not more than 2 per cent by 2022,” the release said.
Moreover, it has been made mandatory to declare the quantity of trans fats and saturated fats on the labels of products in which margarine is used.
“FSSAI is amending the FSS (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011 by including a specific definition for dairy analogue as margarine is also a dairy analogue and specifying the additional labelling criterion for such products,” the release said.