New food law in the offing

February 05, 2013 - 3:20:03 am

DOHA: With a high prevalence of obesity, diabetes and other lifestyle diseases, Qatar is working on a “food law” that may impose restrictions on the import and sale of certain types of food that increases the risk of developing such diseases.

A senior official of the Supreme Council of Health ( SCH) hinted yesterday that the proposed law will also specify the permitted levels of colours, preservatives and other ingredients in several food items.

“The government will soon issue a food law that will specify the types of healthy food and those that cause health hazards. The purpose of the law is to protect Qatari society from food that can lead to diseases like cancer and diabetes,” Dr Sheikha Al Anoud Al Thani, director of the Health Promotion and Non communicable diseases section at SCH told the Qatar News Agency yesterday.

She was speaking on the sidelines of an event held at the SCH premises yesterday to mark the World Cancer Day.

The announcement assumes importance in the context of recent calls by the Central Municipal Council (CMC) to force eateries to mention the calories in their menu cards.

Al Anoud said the proposed law will organise all aspects of healthy food and impose restrictions on the import of certain types of food containing high percentage of fat and sugar.

The proposed law will supplement an ongoing project of the SCH to issue guidelines on healthy food for use of the public. Al Anoud said that the guidelines will be ready by February next year. The SCH recently held a workshop involving international experts in heath and nutrition as part of this project. The project is being implemented with the support of the World Health Organisation. The Peninsula

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