PFA bans soft drinks at educational institutions

LAHORE: August 11: The Punjab Food Authority (PFA) has decided to impose a ban on the sale of all types of soft and energy drinks at educational institutions across Punjab from August 14. The authority has issued instructions to all beverage manufacturing companies that they cannot supply cold drinks to any of educational institution. Provincial food watchdog has also barred beverage manufacturer to supply all soft and energy drinks to shopkeepers, canteens and drink corners in 100 metres of educational institutions. ‘Counterfeit soft drinks more prevalent than original product’ PFA Director General Noorul Amin Mengal has directed all the food safety officers to impose penalties on manufacturers and suppliers if they breach the ban. Mengal highlighted that there were around 120 countries in the world that have imposed such a ban considering harmful and adverse effects of soft drinks on children’s health. He pointed out that not only the developed countries such as the USA and the United Kingdom but Saudi Arabia and several other Arab states have also imposed such restrictions. This ban had been implemented in many countries since 2006, he added. The PFA Scientific Panel has prepared and passed the Punjab Educational Societies Food Standard Regulation 2017 and graded the food supplied to schools as red, yellow and green levels. The authority has included soft drinks and energy drinks in red category after detailed research and consultation with experts around the world. All the experts had given their full emphasis on urgent implementation of this regulation. Punjab mulls province-wide cola ban for kids PFA DG said the authority’s board had fully supported a comprehensive operation across the province by creating special operation teams for effective implementation of this restriction. Mengal revealed that the authority had constituted 701 special operation teams for monitoring and implementation of the ban. Apart from August 14 to September 13, this time span will be celebrated as a month of ban on soft and energy drinks and all the operation teams will be dynamic to implement the ban on soft drinks. Published in The Express Tribune, August 11th, 2017.
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