Voice Ac­tion – Na­tional Ed­i­ble Oil For­ti­fi­ca­tion

Consumer Voice - - Project In Focus -

The Gov­ern­ment of In­dia is com­mit­ted to ad­dress­ing the prob­lem of mi­cronu­tri­ent de­fi­cien­cies and has been run­ning a Vi­ta­min A sup­ple­men­ta­tion pro­gramme for chil­dren un­der five years for more than a decade.

How­ever, only 25 per cent of chil­dren un­der five years old have re­ceived a dose of vi­ta­min A in the six months pre­ced­ing the na­tion­ally rep­re­sen­ta­tive Na­tional Fam­ily Health Sur­vey III (2005–06). Also, there is no pro­gramme to cover chil­dren above five years, preg­nant women, women in post-par­tum phase, and adults.

To sup­ple­ment th­ese ef­forts, Con­fed­er­a­tion of In­dian In­dus­try (CII) col­lab­o­rated with Global Al­liance for Im­prov­ing Nu­tri­tion (GAIN) and Voice and launched an ini­tia­tive on Na­tional Ed­i­ble Oil For­ti­fi­ca­tion aimed at ad­vo­cat­ing for oil for­ti­fi­ca­tion. The project aims at build­ing con­sen­sus around for­ti­fi­ca­tion as an in­dus­try-led ini­tia­tive and to gen­er­ate ev­i­dence on the mer­its of busi­ness-led ex­pan­sion of a for­ti­fied ed­i­ble oil port­fo­lio. The project will en­tail en­gage­ment with var­i­ous stake­hold­ers (busi­ness lead­ers, tech­ni­cal ex­perts, nu­tri­tion­ists and pol­i­cy­mak­ers) to build con­sen­sus on tak­ing for­ward the agenda of largescale for­ti­fi­ca­tion of ed­i­ble oils.

Un­der the ini­tia­tive, Voice, CII and GAIN to­gether are or­ga­niz­ing Stake­holder Con­sul­ta­tion on Oil For­ti­fi­ca­tion work­shops across all ma­jor cities of In­dia. The work­shops be­gan on 18 June 2015 in Jaipur, Ra­jasthan, and un­til 22 Au­gust 2015, cov­ered 23 cities in 23 states and union ter­ri­to­ries across In­dia.

Oils and fats, like car­bo­hy­drates and pro­teins, are ma­jor com­po­nents of the hu­man diet. De­pend­ing on the source, oils pro­vide not only en­ergy but also the es­sen­tial fatty acids re­quired for hu­man growth and de­vel­op­ment. The fat-sol­u­ble vi­ta­mins – vi­ta­mins A, D and E – mix uni­formly with oils, making them an ex­cel­lent, cost-ef­fec­tive ve­hi­cle for for­ti­fi­ca­tion with th­ese mi­cronu­tri­ents. For ex­am­ple, stud­ies have shown that for­ti­fi­ca­tion of cook­ing oil with vi­ta­min A im­proves in­take amongst vul­ner­a­ble pop­u­la­tions with­out any in­crease in cook­ing-oil consumption.

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