Union health minister Anbumani Ramadoss has asked movie stars, sports stars and other celebrities not to promote aerated soft drink products by endorsing them, in the interest of the public health .
While addressing a congregation of health experts on Friday at the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Central Food Laboratory, he stated that the celebrities should stay away from endorsing soft drinks since aerated drinks were damaging kids health. He said that he would urge stars like Shah Rukh, Aamir, Aishwarya, Tendulkar, and Sehwag to refrain from promoting these products. He stated that if the stars were concerned about the health of the children then they must not promote these soft drinks.
He explained that 'Juvenile diabetes, obesity were on a rise among the children and that the soft drinks do have a detrimental effect on them. He said that there is already a committee that is probing as to whether there is any pesticides present in the drinks, but he stated that whatever be the outcome of their findings these soft drinks were harmful for the children.
Ramadoss has however not called for any ban on the commercials of the soft drinks. He said that he was only making a request to these stars for not to endorse them.
Unveiling an Rs.3.7 billion package for modernization of food and drug laboratories across the country, Ramadoss announced that the central government would soon come out with an Integrated Food Law merging the present Prevention of Food Adulteration Act (PFA) and repealing several existing laws of the food sector.
At the meeting Ramadoss had also given a fair warning to the packaged food industry, saying that a strict law on labeling was on the anvil. He explained that eight months back the government had prepared a draft resolution that would make it mandatory for all food packets to carry information on ingredients and nutritional value. Stating that all food packets immaterial of their sizes would have to print the information, he said that the final draft is probably just a few weeks away.