Health Current Affairs

Case lodged against Nestle India in UP on its product Maggi

A case was lodged in Barabanki court in Uttar Pradesh against Nestle India over inadequate safety standards of its product Maggi.

Earlier, Uttar Pradesh Food Safety and Drug Administration (UP FDA) had asked Nestle India to withdraw a batch of Maggi noodles from the market after they had found that it contained high level of lead and Monosodium glutamate (MSG), a taste enhancer.

During these routine tests of UP FDA, it was found that packets of instant noodles of 2014 batch contained high lead concentration of 17.2 parts per million (ppm) which is nearly seven times more that the permissible limit of 0.01 ppm to 2.5 ppm.

About Monosodium glutamate

Monosodium glutamate is a kind of amino acid. It occurs naturally in many agricultural products. Monosodium glutamate is added artificially to packaged food to enhance flavour.

Health impact: Large doses of MSG can cause headaches and other feelings of discomfort collectively known as Chinese Restaurant Syndrome.


Global energy subsidies to hit US $ 5.3 trillion this year: IMF report

International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its recent report titled Act Local, Solve Global: The $5.3 Trillion Energy Subsidy Problem has voiced alarm about energy subsidies across the world.

The report has clearly mentioned that theenergy subsidies across the world are expected to reach 5.3 trillion dollars in 2015, more than government health spending.

Key facts from report

  • The rising subsidy figures are among the largest negative factors for economic growth which is piling up adverse effects on efficiency, growth and inequality.
  • 2015 energy subsidies will represent 6.5 per cent of the global economy, likely exceeding government health spending across the world.
  • China is the largest spender on energy subsidies and spends around 2.3 trillion dollars a year, followed by the United States at 699 billion dollars and Russia at 335 billion dollars.
  • While India spends 277 billion dollars, Japan spends 157 billion dollars and European Union (EU) spends around 330 billion dollars.
  • Overall energy subsidies had more than doubled since 2011 which had amounted to 2 trillion dollars i.e. 2.9 percent of the world’s gross domestic product.
  • It has damaging effects on air quality and health, such as premature deaths due to global warming.
  • By getting energy prices right can help national governments achieve their goals not only for the environment but also for inclusive growth and sound public finances.

Definition of energy subsidies: The IMF report defined energy subsidies as the difference between the amount of money consumers pay for energy and its true costs, plus a country’s normal sales or value-added tax rate.

In addition, the true costs include environmental effects like carbon emissions that lead to global warming and the health effects.