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OMMCOM NEWS Follow-Up: Danger Looms Large From Toys In Food Packets, Minister Waiting For Complaint

11 July 2019

Snigdha Chandan Das

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Bhubaneswar: Free toys in food packets are often swallowed by toddlers, who mistake it for snacks. This results in choking of their windpipes and eventually, death. Meanwhile, Health Minister Naba Das continues to wait for an official complaint before taking any step to stop this menace.

He said, “I have not received any complaint as of now. Once my department receives a complaint, we will take action as per law.”

A one-year-old toddler died in Keonjhar after swallowing a toy present inside a chips packet on June 25. OMMCOM NEWS had reported and raised the matter with Odisha’s Health Department. Few days later, FSSAI's Joint Director (Regulatory Compliance) stated that there are no instructions issued (by the FSSAI) on toys in food packets.

While regulation of bigger national brands remains out-of-reach, the State department can definitely look into the factories of smaller local or semi-local brands. Some concerned parents also said that raids can be conducted in such factories to stop the insertion of free toys in snack packets. A stern warning or an order to prohibit this advertising gimmick can also go a long way, said a parent.

The matter being serious and related to the health of young children, it remains to be seen, whether the Health Department issues any advisory or guideline for regulating the sale of food packets with toys inside.

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Naba Das, Health Minister, Odisha