Compromising with packaging quality of food can cause irreversible damage to the human body. Newspapers have been used for wrapping and packing of food items for a long time in India. Packaging with most commonly used medium, newspaper, has now been proved as a major threat to the life of thousands of people. Consumers of the same have been unknowingly poisoning their bodies with harmful toxins.
The ink in newspapers contains harmful colours, pigments, binders, preservatives, additives and heavy metals like lead, cadmium and graphite which can take a huge toll on health of children as well as adults. Over 50% children in India have a high amount of lead presence in their blood. A high level of lead can not only affect the growth and development of children but also reduce their IQ level. While lead affects the growth factors in children, graphite can result in dysfunction of important organs such as lungs and kidneys. Phthalate, a chemical used to soften and increase the flexibility of plastic and vinyl, can cause digestive problems, breast cancer, and obesity. Pregnant woman exposed to high level of phthalate have higher probability of risks associated with birth defects.
Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) has disclosed the new packaging regulations, recognizing the importance of packaging in food sector and its impact on food safety and has decided to ban use of newspapers for packing food.
“Primary objective of packaging is to protect the food content from microbiological, chemical, physical and atmospheric contamination and preserve the food and thereby protect consumer’s health. Good packaging also ensures no change in sensory properties or consumption of food when packed. Packaging is essential and critical for promoting food safety, extended shelf-life and thereby enhancing food security “said by FSSAI in a statement. The regulations that have been set by the apex food regulator will come into force from 1st July, 2019.