In short

Published: Friday 31 December 2004

staple shortage: Cambodia is faced with a severe drought that could lead to a shortage of rice, the country's staple food. "Some provinces will face a shortage of rice in the coming months," Nhim Vanda, chairman of Cambodia's national disaster committee, was quoted as saying . "We are working with the World Food Programme on how to respond to the needs." Nearly 523,370 hectares (ha) of the total 2.5 million hectares under paddy cultivation have been affected. About 124,000 ha have been destroyed and nearly 399,384 ha seriously affected, according to an official report cited in the media.

unhealthy withdrawal?: Dalda Activ, which has been marketed as a healthier variant of vanaspati, has been withdrawn from the market by oilseed giant Bunge after the Union government's refusal to permit the use of certain chemical additives in it. Dalda Activ contains interesterified fat along with these additives instead of the hydrogenated vanaspati in the regular Dalda. Interesterified fat are considered less harmful because they have less bad cholesterol. Bunge India has approached the Vanaspati Directorate under the Union ministry of food to change the quality specifications for interesterified fats so that the chemical additives can be used.

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