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OMMCOM NEWS Impact: Govt Intervenes, To Investigate & Spread Awareness On Free Toys Inside Snack Packets


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26 June 2019

Debashish Maharana


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Bhubaneswar: Odisha Government went into action mode shortly after OMMCOM NEWS published a report on the hazardous consequences of free toys inside snack packets. Taking into cognizance the death of a one-year-old girl in Keonjhar who choked after swallowing a plastic toy from a chips pack, the Government has ensured that it will actively spread awareness on this matter.

Speaking to OMMCOM NEWS, Health Minister Naba Das said, “I have discussed this issue with the department. As per law, we will investigate the matter and take action. We will also conduct awareness programs regarding this issue.”

Health Secretary Pramod Meherda said, “Food Safety Officers discussed with legal experts from Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. Their first impression is that a ‘WARNING’ sign on the packets is a must. The sign must advise customers- Toy inside the packet is not suitable for children under certain age and adult supervision is recommended. Toy is not food and not to be consumed.”

The legal aspect is still being worked out, Meherda added.

Brands of Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) often adopt the practice of including a free gift inside food packets as it attracts kids. While the bigger brands have stopped using such promotional techniques, many local brands still continue the practice. Sometimes, the smaller brands also go the extent of inserting coins in food packets to attract children.

With the Government swinging into action to monitor this marketing practice, concerned parents can finally breathe a sigh of relief.

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Naba Das, Health Minister, Odisha