The Codex Alimentarius Commission under the UN has set out maximum acceptable levels of lead in infant formula and of arsenic in rice
Adopting new standards to protect consumer health worldwide, United Nations (UN) food standards body Codex Alimentarius Commission has set out maximum acceptable levels of lead in infant formula and of arsenic in rice.
The Commission, jointly run by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), sets global food safety and quality standards to promote safer and more nutritious food for consumers worldwide.
Codex standards serve in many cases as a basis for national legislation and provide the food safety benchmarks for international food trade.
In an annual meeting held this week, FAO said, “The Commission adopted a recommendation that no more than 0.01mg per kg of lead should be permitted in infant formula as consumed.”
Lead occurs in the environment and trace amounts can end up in the ingredients that are used in the production of infant formula. Levels of lead in infant formula can be controlled by sourcing raw materials from areas where lead is less present, it said in a statement.
Also for the first time, Codex adopted a maximum level for arsenic in rice at 0.2 mg per kg, FAO said.
Stating that rice in particular can take up more arsenic than other crops, FAO said as a staple food for millions of people, it can contribute significantly to arsenic exposure, which is detrimental to human health.
Arsenic contamination in rice is of particular concern in some Asian countries where paddy fields are irrigated with groundwater containing arsenic-rich sediments pumped from shallow tube wells, it said, adding that improved irrigation and agricultural practices can help reduce arsenic contamination.
The Codex Commission also agreed to develop a new code of practice that will help countries comply with the maximum level set and provide producers with good agricultural and manufacturing techniques to prevent and reduce contamination.
It recommended that the use of certain veterinary drugs should be restricted in food-producing animals in order to prevent residual amounts of the drugs remaining in meat, milk, eggs or honey.
The eight drugs (chloramphenicol, malachite green, carbadox, furazolidone, nitrofural, chlorpromazine, stilbenes and olaquinadox), including antimicrobials and growth promoters, can potentially have adverse effects on human health and may contribute to the development of drug resistance, FAO said.
Justice Katju, who heads the Press Council has asked six questions to former Chief Justice RC Lahoti through his blog post on allowing a judge under corruption cloud to continue in office
Markandey Katju, former Judge at the Supreme Court, who alleged that three Chief Justices of India (CJI) made 'improper compromises' during the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) rule in allowing a judge under corruption cloud to continue in office, on Tuesday posed six questions to one of them—Justice RC Lahoti—on the issue.
Katju asked if after receiving an adverse report from the Intelligence Bureau (IB) against the Additional Judge, Lahoti, who was then CJI, called a meeting of the three-Judge Supreme Court Collegium, consisting of himself, Justice YK Sabharwal and Justice Ruma Pal. The Collegium, having perused the IB report recommended to the Government of India not to extend the 2-year-term of that Additional Judge, he said.
Katju, Chairman of the Press Council of India, put the posers to Lahoti on his blog.
On timing of his statement on Monday, he said, “Some people have commented about the timing of my statement. What happened was that some Tamilians had commented on Facebook that I am posting several matters on my Facebook post, so I should also post some of my experiences in Madras High Court.
“Then I started posting about my experiences there, and it was at that time I remembered this experience too, and posted it,” he said.
Katju asked, “Is it, or is it not, correct that after that recommendation of the three-Judge Collegium of the Supreme Court was sent to the Government, he (Justice Lahoti), on his own, without consulting his two other Supreme Court Collegium colleagues, wrote a letter asking the Government to give another one year term as Additional Judge to the Judge concerned?”
The allegation on how an unnamed additional judge of Madras High Court was given extension at the instance of UPA-I government owing to pressure from an ally, a “Tamil Nadu party”, apparently Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK), and then confirmed as a permanent judge led to an uproar in Parliament on Monday members from the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) even as questions were raised by parties like Congress on its timing.
Katju further said on his blog, “If indeed the IB reported, after an enquiry, that the Judge was indulging in corruption, why did he (Justice Lahoti) recommend to the Government of India to give that corrupt Judge another term of one year as Additional Judge in the High Court?”
Katju, who became the Chief Justice of Madras High Court in November 2004, on Monday told TV channels, “These three former CJIs made improper compromises. Justice Lahoti who started it, then Justice Sabharwal and then Justice Balakrishnan. These are CJIs who can surrender. Is a CJI going to surrender to political pressure or not going to surrender to political pressure?”
Balakrishnan rejected the allegations as “completely baseless and not factually correct".
Katju, who was a Supreme Court judge from 2006 to 2011, was appointed as the PCI Chairman on 5 October 2011 and is due to retire on 4th October this year.
He started his blog posting today by saying Lahoti, when contacted by some media people about his statement, which was published on my blog and in a daily yesterday, generally remarked that he has never done anything wrong in his life.
Katju said he (Lahoti) has not gone into any specifics, “so let me put him some specific questions:
“Is it, or is it not, correct that I first wrote him a letter from Chennai, stating that there were serious allegations of corruption about an Additional Judge of Madras High Court, and therefore he (Justice Lahoti) should get a secret intelligence enquiry held against that Additional Judge, and thereafter I personally met Justice Lahoti at Delhi and again requested for a secret IB enquiry against the Additional Judge about whom I had received several complaints, and from several sources, that he was indulging in corruption?
“Is it, or is it not, correct that on my request Justice Lahoti ordered a secret IB enquiry against that Judge?
“Is it, or is it not correct, that a few weeks after I personally met him in Delhi and then returned to Chennai, he telephoned me from Delhi (while I was at Chennai) and told me that the IB, after thorough enquiry, gave a report that indeed the Judge was indulging in corruption?”
The domestic airline industry in India is operating at a loss and their combined loss is estimated to be at $1.7 billion in 2014. This may increase further if the price war continues and expenses are not reduced
It is reported in the press that Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Civil Aviation Minister, in the last four weeks has cleared and given no objection certificates (NOCs) to Air One Aviations Pvt Ltd, Zexus Air and Premier Air (who plan to operate nationally) while Turbo-Megha, Air Carnival and Zav Airways plan regional operations.