Imposing ban on vanaspati ghee

Imposing ban on vanaspati ghee

PAKISTAN imports 2.6 million tonnes of crude and refined edible oil annually, and is the third-largest importer of the commodity after China and India.

There are over 200 licensed cooking oil and ghee manufacturing companies in the country, collectively producing 10,000 tonnes of oil and ghee daily.

The sector says it pays over Rs70 billion each year to the exchequer in the form of various duties and taxes but has been facing a crisis for the last one year or so — not because of any unexpected surge in edible oil prices on the world market or any hurdles in imports, but owing to a check on the quality and standard of its products at home.

The Punjab Food Authority (PFA), an agency formed in 2011 to regulate food safety and hygiene in the province, has been raiding various mills and collecting samples of oil and ghee products to check their quality.

It has also issued lists of edible oil and ghee brands it has banned and those it has declared unfit for human consumption. It has also given a five-year deadline to the mills to eliminate the manufacturing of vanaspati ghee.

Stepping up its drive against the vanaspati ghee, the PFA has recently hoisted banners along main arteries of all major towns, appealing to public to stop consuming the “hazardous” commodity.

The affected industrial units had gone on strike for a couple of times to protest raids by the PFA. Millers also accuse the food authority of engaging in a defamation campaign against their products by leaking quality-test reports to the media before sharing and discussing them with millers.

The makers argue that the product is a cheap source of food for the poor, but the Punjab Food Authority says it leads to diseases such as blood pressure, heart attacks and obesity.

its raw material (edible oil) needs from imports, 94pc of which comprises palm oil while the rest includes coconut oil, olive oil, etc. Around 75pc of the palm oil is imported from Malaysia.

Umar Aslam Khan, general secretary of the PVMA, fears that the provincial food authority’s policy could lead to a WTO fine on the country for violating its rules. Moreover, Pakistan could also lose exports worth $600m to Malaysia and Indonesia in case the two countries invoke the PTAs.

Vanaspati makers also assert that imposing a ban on their products doesn’t fall within the jurisdiction of the PFA, and they have filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court in this regard. They say they are already following the standards set by the Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) in line with the guidelines of the WHO, ISO and other international bodies.

Referring to the ill effects of ghee because it contains trans-fat, Mr Khan says fat is also found in all bakery products and fast food, but the same are not being banned by the PFA, as it has been left up to the consumer to decide how much of the nutrient one wishes to take.

He argues that vanaspati ghee is the cheap source of energy for the poor and a ban on it will increase malnutrition among them.

PFA Director General Nurul Ameen is, however, determined to implement the agency’s policies which he says will benefit consumers and farmers in the long run.

He alleges that the industry has been importing soap-grade palm oil, which then sells as edible commodity on the market, risking health of consumers. “Even our teenagers are suffering heart attacks,” he says.

He says the decision to ban vanaspati ghee was taken on the basis of a three-month research by a panel of food technologists of the authority. They found that the ghee and hydrogenated oil caused diseases such as blood pressure, heart attacks and obesity.

On the authority’s jurisdiction to take such a step, he says that after the 18th Constitutional Amendment it’s the PSQCA that has lost powers to regulate food and related businesses in provinces.

Not impressed by the argument that the country may lose exports, Mr Ameen says the ban on palm oil import will instead save foreign exchange reserves because the country’s fruit and vegetable exports worth only a fraction of palm oil imports.

He says the food authority is going to launch an awareness campaign to ask the people to reduce their annual oil and ghee consumption from 18kg per head on average to 3kg, as is the world standard.

The PFA will also make the edible oil industry to mix 35pc of locally produced mustard, canola and corn oil into their products, which are currently made from imported palm oil.

Published in Dawn, The Business and Finance Weekly, November 6th, 2017

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ghee for provision throughout the country though it has been started from Punjab

ghee for provision throughout the country though it has been started from Punjab

It is a bitter fact that large number of people are not getting enough food, thus suffering from malnutrition. It is estimated, over 37 million Pakistanis are not getting enough food which is essential for their healthy life. The Department of International Development (DFID) of UK has laudably launched Food Fortification Programme as per its commitment to working with Pakistan to adequately tackle the nutrition emergency in the country.

Ghee, oil production up by 25.49pc , ISLAMABAD

According to media reports, DIFD-Pakistan head Joanna Reid was joined at the launching ceremony in Lahore the other day by a delegation of Punjab government, British High Commission and the Food Fortification Programme officials.

5 reasons you should definitely have ghee this winter

Food Fortification Programme as the very name indicates is aimed at improving nutrition situation; it includes the fortification of wheat flour, edible oil and ghee for provision throughout the country though it has been started from Punjab. The programme intends to improve the production, access and consumption of wheat flour fortified with iron, folic acid, vitamin B12 and zinc, edible oil and ghee also fortified with vitamins A and D.

Officials asked to check quality of ghee sold in temples

Provincial Food Minister Bilal Yasin has quite rightly remarked that the food fortification programme is an excellent initiative for the people of the province, pledged full support of the provincial government and the Punjab Food Authority for its successful implementation adding that the government working on the roadmap to effectively reduce incidence of malnutrition in the country in partnership with DFID.

It is a positive contribution to the UK appreciable aim of improving access and consumption of sufficient, nutritious and safe food particularly for women of childbearing age and children in order to considerably improve nutrition status in the country. The government has already pledged in Vision 2025 to make nutrition a priority and this surely matters a great deal for the health of the nation and for Pakistan’s prosperity.

Source : pakobserver

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Cholesterol matters, but oxidized levels of linoleic acid may matter more

Cholesterol matters, but oxidized levels of linoleic acid may matter more


Not all “good” fats are created equal BY Diane Nelson

There are good and bad fats, nutritionists say. But not all polyunsaturated fats, the so-called good fats, are created equal. A food chemist at UC Davis is exploring whether eating too much linoleic acid—a type of polyunsaturated fat found mainly in vegetable oils—can cause chronic inflammation, headaches, and other health problems.

“Others have shown that too much linoleic acid could be bad for the heart,” said Ameer Taha, an assistant professor with the Department of Food Science. “My research shows that it might also be bad for the brain.”

In collaboration with colleagues at the National Institutes of Health (NIH,) Taha conducted dietary tests with people who suffer drug-resistant, chronic migraine headaches. When migraine sufferers reduced linoleic acid and increased consumption of omega 3 fatty acids— polyunsaturated fats found in foods like fish and walnuts—their migraines decreased 40 percent. Taha has also shown that in rats, too much dietary linoleic acid reduces the brain’s capacity to cope with inflammation, which can cause migraines.

“Omega 3 fatty acids are relatively more healthy than linoleic acid and other Omega 6 fatty acids,” Taha said.

Translation: Fatty fish is more nutritious than French fries.

Good fat/bad fat

The dietary fat debate goes something like this: If we replace the saturated fats found in foods like beef and cheese with polyunsaturated fats—like those in vegetable oil—we will reduce our total cholesterol and improve our health.

Reducing cholesterol is good, Taha says, but there is more to it than many doctors and patients realize.

“Cholesterol matters, but oxidized levels of linoleic acid may matter more,” Taha said. “Replacing saturated fats with vegetable oils such as soybean and corn oil may not be the best strategy.”

Christopher Ramsden, a clinical investigator at NIH recently showed that diets replacing saturated fat with linoleic acid did not decrease the risk of heart attacks or death, despite lowering blood cholesterol. Taha was a postdoctoral fellow at NIH before joining the UC Davis faculty in 2014 and researched linoleic acid alongside Ramsden.

“Chris and his colleagues went back through data from the 1960s and found that study participants who ate a diet low in saturated fat and enriched with corn oil reduced their cholesterol by an average of 14 percent, but the low-saturated fat diet did not reduce mortality,” Taha said. “In fact, they found that the greater the drop in cholesterol, the higher the risk of death during the trial.”

How much is too much?

Our bodies need linoleic acid for basic functions like blood clotting and muscle movement, and we cannot synthesize it on our own. So, we have to consume some linoleic acid to stay healthy. The question is, what is the right amount?

Taha is currently developing methods to measure human requirements for linoleic acid, something that has never been fully understood. He and his team are looking at how much linoleic acid is secreted by the liver, for example, and how much linoleic acid the heart and brain consume.

“When we can measure how much the liver puts into the blood in relation to how much is consumed by organs, we can start to understand how much linoleic acid we should consume when we’re 2 and 20 and 70,” Taha said. “Requirements change with age, disease and genes. Knowing how much our body needs will allow us to better regulate our consumption of linoleic acid, so we will be healthier as a population, overall.”

Pass the butter

In the meantime, Taha says he sticks with fats that are relatively low in linoleic acid, like butter, ghee,olive oil, coconut oil, and canola oil. Processed foods are often high in linoleic acid because they are usually processed or fried in vegetable oils like corn and soybean oil.“You can trace the rise in linoleic consumption in North America to the rise in use of soybean and other vegetable oils in processed food,” Taha said. 

So, when it comes to “good” fats, foods high in omega 3 fatty acids (like grass-fed beef, salmon and walnuts) and low in omega-6 fatty acids, like extra-virgin olive oil, might be best of all.  

Media contact(s)

Diane Nelson, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Dean’s Office, 530-752-1969,

Ameer Taha, Department of Food Science, 530-752-7096, 


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Officials asked to check quality of ghee sold in temples

Officials asked to check quality of ghee sold in temples

Officials asked to check quality of ghee sold in temples

A circular had been sent to officials of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments to inspect and gather samples of ghee sold in temples and send them for quality testing, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court was informed on Tuesday.

The HR and CE Commissioner made this submission through the Special Government Pleader in response to a public interest litigation petition filed to prohibit sale of plastics, animal fat and vanaspati in ‘nei (ghee) deepam’ and camphor in temples across the State.

A division bench of Justices M. Venugopal and Abdul Quddhose directed the Commissioner to file the submission in the form of a counter affidavit.

Source : thehindu

Ghee store owner in Hyderabad held for adulteration

He mixed dalda in pure ghee and sold it to various stores in the local market as pure ghee, said C Shashidhar Raju, Additional DCP,Task Force.

Hyderabad: The East Zone Task Force raided a godown at Nallakunta and nabbed one person for allegedly preparing and selling adulterated ghee by mixing dalda and selling it in the market. Police seized 60 kg adulterated ghee and other material from his possession. The arrested suspect is identified as Perumal Srinivasan, 53, a resident of DD Colony, Amberpet.

According to police, Srinivasan is running Sri Sai Jagatha Ghee Stores and Coffee work near Shankarmutt in Nallakunta and had been manufacturing adulterated ghee from two years.

“He mixed dalda in pure ghee and sold it to various stores in the local market as pure ghee. Though he knows pretty well that adulterated ghee is harmful to the customers, he still continued to cheat them,” said C Shashidhar Raju, Additional DCP,Task Force.

Read full story why Ghee ban ?

Following credible information, the Task Force raided the godown late night on Monday and arrested him on the spot and seized the adulterated stuff. Srinivasan and the adulterated products were handed over to the Nallakunta police for action.

Meanwhile sources informed, the South Zone police raided an oil manufacturing and packing unit at Bahadurpura following a tip off and seized adulterated oil and also took two workers into custody.
Raids were still on, when the last reports came in. The Madannapet police also raided an adulterated honey manufacturing unit and seized adulterated stuff.

Source : telanganatoday

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