The All India Food Processors Association (AIFPA) Wednesday approached the Delhi High Court, pleading that the court should hear them before passing any final order on a petition that seeks ban on carbonated beverages and junk food in school and college canteens.
The AIFPA in its application filed before the division bench of Acting Chief Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw sought to become a party in the petition filed by NGO Uday Foundation.
The AIFPA told the court that its members were dealing with processing of fruits and vegetables, meat and fish, milk and milk products and biscuits and confectionary products.
Senior counsel Mukul Rohtagi, appearing for the association, told the court that the petitioner had failed to specify as to what kind of foods should be included in the definition of junk food or fast food.
He said the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act did not define anything as junk food or fast food.
The NGO sought a ban on the sale of junk food and carbonated drinks within 1,500-foot radius of schools.
Petitioners Rahul Verma and Rakesh Prabhakar of Uday Foundation told the court: It is…time we change the way kids eat in schools. Such a ban will set new standards for healthy food. On the one hand, children are taught in classroom about good nutrition…, on the other, we continue to make junk food available to them.
Rohtagi said that the petitioner failed to clarify the kind of foods to be banned in the vicinity of schools.
The FSSAI has invited proposals from experienced agencies, organisations and institutions in consultation with scientific panel to issue guidelines,” said the association.
The case would be heard next Dec 21.
In an affidavit, the health ministry earlier said it had written to all states and union territories to consider issuing instructions for withdrawing carbonated beverages and junk foods from school and college canteens.