The EAT-Lancet Commission’s ‘Food Planet Health’, was formally released for India today at the headquarters of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). Policy-makers, development agencies, embassy representatives, farmers’ associations, food tech entrepreneurs, researchers and students were present at this event, which was webcast live to 43 colleges across the country. Additionally, three groups of students from reputed institutes of nutrition; food technology and food waste management presented their analyses of the report to provide the perspective of the generation of future leaders.
Authored by 37 international experts, including two from India, brought together by EAT, the science-based global platform for food system transformation, and Lancet, one of the world’s most prestigious peer-reviewed general medical journals published weekly since 1823; the EAT-Lancet Commission’s report, for the first time ever, proposes scientific targets for what constitutes a healthy diet derived from a sustainable food system.
Mr. Pawan Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI said, “The programme has been planned in a way to create a nationwide conversation around the document. A video report will also be prepared for distribution among key stakeholders, via FSSAI’s Network of Professionals of Health and Nutrition (NetProFan), so that they in turn hold workshops to prepare action plans based on the recommendations of the report.” He added, that the strategy was an expression of the FSSAI’s belief that “consumer empowerment is the key element” of its strategy to create a market- demand for safe food and healthy diets.
Presenting the report, Dr Brent Loken, Director, Science Translation, EAT, remarked, “If we don’t fix the food system, we cannot achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The great thing that FSSAI is doing is beginning this conversation in India.” Dr Loken was followed by Dr K. Srinath Reddy, one of the two Indian Commissioners on the EAT-Lancet Commission, and President, Public Health Foundation of India. In a video-recorded message, Dr Reddy said, “We need to find a safe space to provide nutrition security to everyone by 2050.”
Dr. Lawrence Haddad, World Food Prize Winner and Executive Director, GAIN, highlighting the importance of food safety, he cautioned “As food systems become more formal and organized, food safety threats increase, not decrease. FSSAI has brought the worlds of food safety and healthy eating together. You can have safe food that is not nutritious but you cannot have nutritious food that is not safe.”
The other highlight of the day was the Executive Director, FSSAI, Madhavi Das’s presentation on the Government Action on Five Strategies for the Great Food Transformation.