As told to Parliament (February 12, 2021): CSE expose on honey adulteration taken note of by Centre

All that was discussed in the House through the day

By DTE Staff
Published: Friday 12 February 2021

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India had informed the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare about the investigation carried out by Delhi-based non-profit Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) on honey samples, Minister of State in the ministry Ashwini Kr Choubey told the Lok Sabha February 12, 2021.

One sample had been found positive for the presence of a specific marker for rice syrup 2AFGP (2-Acetylfuran-3- Glucopyranoside), according to reports received till date from states / Union territories and central licensing authorities (CLAs), Choubey added.

The product was assessed as unsafe according to Section 3(1)(zz) of the Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act, 2006 by the CLA and notice was served to the concerned food business operator, Choubey said.

The report on the investigation carried out by CSE is in the public domain. 

Non-communicable diseases

The exact number of patients suffering from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in India including cardiovascular, diabetes and obesity were not known to health ministry, Ashwini Kr Choubey told the Lok Sabha today. But various studies indicated that the trend of these diseases was rising, he added.

An estimated 5.8 million people died from NCDs every year in India according to a 2015 World Health Organization reported, Choubey said.

COVID-19 vaccines 

The government was aware that 1,000 doses of the novel coronavirus disease vaccine were found frozen at Silchar Medical College Hospital, Assam January 15, 2021, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan said.

No other specific incidence of damage to vaccine doses in cold storages had been brought to the notice of the ministry so far.

Decrease in forest cover

Minister of State in the Union Ministry Of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Babul Supriyo denied that there was any decline in India’s forest cover.

The total forest and tree cover of India was 807,276 square kilometres, according to the latest India State of Forest Report 2019 prepared by the Forest Survey of India, Dehradun. Supriyo said.

This figure was 24.56 per cent of the total geographical area of India. It comprised of 712,249 sq km of forest cover and 95,027 sq km of tree cover, he added.

Coastal pollution

No committee had been set up to monitor the status of pollution in India’s coastal areas, Babu Supriyo told the Lok Sabha.

However, the Central Pollution Control Board, in association with state pollution control boards and pollution control committees was monitoring the water quality of coastal aquatic resources at 184 locations in five states on a monthly basis under the National Water Quality Monitoring Programme, he noted.

Air Pollution  

Ambient air quality in cities including Delhi was monitored under the National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Programme through a network of manual and continuous ambient air quality monitoring stations, Babul Supriyo told the Lok Sabha.

Analysis of the ambient air quality data of 50 metro cities / million plus urban agglomerations showed that sulphur dioxide levels were within the National Ambient Air Quality Standard in all cities during 2017-19.

With respect to nitrous oxide, 15 cities showed an increasing trend, 14 showed a decreasing concentration and 21 showed a fluctuating trend. With respect to PM10, six cities showed an increasing trend, 15 showed a decreasing concentration and 29 showed a fluctuating trend, he added.

Climate Change

The government had been assessing the impact of climate change over the years through various ministries and agencies, Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister for Environment, Forest And Climate Change told the Lok Sabha.

According to the India Meteorological Department, all India mean temperature had risen by nearly 0.7 degree Celsius for the period 1901-2017. On average, at present, the sea level along the Indian coast was estimated to be rising at about 1.7 millimetre per year, he added.

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