Constitutional Provisions and Policy Support
Article 47 of the Constitution is government of India’s commitment to improve the health and nutrition status of its people. It states: “The State shall regard the raising of the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties.”
The National Nutrition Policy (NNP) also recommends fortification of staple foods to address widespread micronutrient malnutrition amongst the general population. The three large-scale ongoing fortification activities in India are:
a) Iodization of salt: Iodization of salt with potassium iodate started in 1962 in a few districts and has since covered most states and union territories.
b) Fortification of vanaspati: Fortification of vanaspati with vitamins A and D started more than 50 years ago and has been obligatory in India since 1953.
c) Fortification of milk: The department of food, ministry of food and civil supplies, government of India, pioneered and initiated fortification of milk with vitamin A in 1980, by providing technical as well as financial support.
Presently, many milk dairy federations/ cooperatives, including Mother Dairy, are fortifying milk with vitamin A. Both iodization of salt and fortification of vanaspati are mandated under the law and milk fortification is strongly recommended in the National Nutrition Policy.