New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today sought suggestions from various stakeholders on draft guidelines of an expert committee on regulation of sale of junk food and aerated drinks in and around school premises in the country.
"Draft guidelines framed by expert committee have been placed on record. The suggestions of those who want to respond to the draft guidelines may be filed within a weeks," a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw said while posting the matter for next hearing on February 25.
During the hearing, advocate Sanyat Lodha, appearing as an amicus curiae, submitted his suggestions on the draft guidelines of the expert committee appointed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
Earlier, the expert group came out with a slew of guidelines on the subject of "making available quality and safe food in schools" and suggested the availability of food high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) contents be restricted in schools and area "within 50 metres".
The report said the kids are not "the best judge of their food choice" and moreover, the schools are not the right place for promoting HFSS food.
It had termed "chips, fried foods, sugar sweetened carbonated beverages" etc as HFSS foods and suggested "the school management must ensure regulation of such food through canteen policies that promote healthy, wholesome and nutritious foods..."
It also suggested there are food items such as 'samosa' and other fried items and a nationwide programme can be started to find out as to which can be termed as HFSS food.
The panel has also suggested a canteen policy to provide nutritious food in school be developed to ensure that such canteens are not treated as "commercial outlets".
The court was hearing the PIL filed by Uday Foundation seeking an immediate ban on junk food and carbonated drinks in all unaided and private schools.