The Union Food Ministry, on Friday, countered the Opposition Congress’s allegation that the distribution of fortified rice by truthful worth retailers is being achieved regardless of a number of warnings by consultants and establishments akin to NITI Aayog and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
A spokesperson of the Ministry stated the Niti Aayog had been actively engaged in operating the scheme. “There is no basis in the reports that Niti Aayog took a stand against fortified rice,” he stated.
Evaluation beneath manner
The Ministry has been sustaining, citing numerous research, that consumption of fortified rice resulted in important enchancment in haemoglobin ranges and discount within the prevalence of anaemia. The Ministry stated rice fortification has been adopted by seven nations, together with the U.S., since 1958. “Concurrent evaluation is being done by NITI Aayog in association with the Indian Council of Medical Research. Evaluation study of some pilot districts are also under way,” the official stated.
Meanwhile, the Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture (ASHA) stated in a press release that the Centre, in a unilateral resolution, has been supplying iron-fortified rice in public security web programmes just like the PDS, mid-day meals, and anganwadis, reaching crores of Indians. “These are mostly poor citizens who rely on state subsidised food and for whom iron-fortified rice has become mandatory since they cannot afford to buy other (non-fortified) rice in the open market. The scaling up of this programme came before a pilot scheme in 15 States was completed, or evaluated independently and rigorously. The evaluation of these pilots was due in late 2022 as per an RTI response by the government,” the assertion stated.