India played pivotal role in making millet choice of common man: Mansukh Mandaviya
New Delhi: The Codex Alimentarious Commission (CAC), an international food safety and quality standard-setting body created by WHO and FAO of the United Nations with 188 member countries, has praised India's Standards on Millets and accepted its proposal for the development of global standards for millets during its 46th session held in Rome, Italy.
India has framed a comprehensive group standard for 15 types of millets specifying 8 quality parameters, which received resounding applause at the international meet. Codex currently has standards for Sorghum and Pearl Millet.
India put forward a proposal for the development of global standards for millets, particularly for Finger millet, Barnyard millet, Kodo millet, Proso millet and Little millet as group standards as in case of pulses. The proposal was unanimously endorsed in the session at FAO Headquarters in Rome, which is being attended by representatives from 161 member countries, including the European Union (EU).
The Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr Mansukh Mandaviya congratulated the Indian delegation on this momentous occasion which coincides with the celebration of 2023 as the International year of Millets.
He added that India has played a pivotal role in making the millet choice of the common man. India's proposal will set the benchmark in highlighting millet and its benefits worldwide.
The Indian delegation led by the CEO, FSSAI G Kamala Vardhana Rao had proposed international group standards for millets not only considering that 2023 has been declared as the "International Year of Millets" but also reflecting on the growing international trade in these products.
With the CAC endorsing the proposal, work on the submission of project documents and development of draft standards will now be initiated by India. The group standards on millets framed by FSSAI for 15 types of millets, which specify 8 quality parameters i.e., maximum limits for moisture content, uric acid content, extraneous matter, other edible grains, defects, weevilled grains and immature and shriveled grains, will act as an important foundation for the development of global standards.
The existing Codex standards for Sorghum and Pearl millet would also be reviewed while making the group standards for millets.
The current session marks the 60th anniversary of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, of which India has been a member since 1964. India has so far chaired 12 EWGs and co-chaired 28 EWGs relating to various Codex standards/texts and guidelines.
Important standards proposed by India include Standard for Okra, BWG Pepper, Aubergines, Dried and Dehydrated Garlic, Dried or Dehydrated Chilli Pepper and Paprika, Fresh Dates, Mango Chutney, Chili Sauce, Ware Potatoes and labelling requirements for non- retail containers.