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Aadhaar card not mandatory for LPG subsidy

The Central Government has clarified that Aadhaar number is not mandatory for transfer of LPG cylinder subsidy amount and the option of providing a bank account number is also available under the Direct Benefit Transfer of LPG (DBTL).

Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan informed the Lok Sabha that under the DBTL, LPG consumers get all domestic LPG cylinders (subsidised as well as non-subsidised) at market price and the subsidy amount is transferred to their bank account. This option has been introduced to ensure that LPG subsidy is not denied to a consumer on account of lack of Aadhaar number, he said.

Focus on consumers’ right to healthy food

Unhealthy diets are linked to four of the ten biggest causes of death worldwide – overweight and obesity, high blood pressure, high blood glucose and high cholesterol. This is why Consumers International (CI) has decided to make helping consumers choose healthy diets the focus of World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) 2015.

CI’s activities for WCRD 2015 will focus on urging World Health Organization (WHO) to initiate an International Convention to Protect and Promote Healthy Diets – using a similar mechanism as the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control.

Coca-Cola enters dairy market

As the global backlash against soda continues, Coke is obviously casting around for new products. Coca-Cola is launching its own brand of milk called Fairlife in the US soon. It will cost twice as much as regular milk, have more protein and contain less sugar.

Sources said Fairlife was a milk that was premiumised and tasted better. A joint venture with US dairy farmers, it used a proprietary milk filtering process that allows increase in protein by 50%, reduction in sugar by 30% and no lactose.

I&B ministry pulled up over astrology-based shows

The Delhi High Court recently pulled up the Information and Broadcasting ministry for failing to regulate astrology-based shows on television. Hearing a petition filed by NGO Sai Lok Kalyan Sanstha, the HC asked the Ministry, “What is the procedure which you follow to look into complaints? These are not mere advertisements, these are programmes.”

However, the HC refused to prohibit the shows saying it is not in its domain to do so. The petition alleged that “in this process of making money, many channels have compromised with ethics, and are also acting in breach of rules and law…”

Flavoured camel milk to hit Indian stores soon

Flavoured camel milk, popular in Gulf countries as a health drink, may soon hit the shelves of grocery stores in India. An expert group set up by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is working on setting standards for selling camel milk as a food product for human consumption.

According to studies, camel milk has three times more vitamin C and 10 times more iron than cow milk. It is rich in unsaturated fatty acids and vitamin B, is said to be almost as nutritious as human breast milk and reduces blood sugar levels in diabetes patients.

Now, a toll-free number to report adverse drug reactions

Now, consumers can call to directly report adverse reactions or bad experiences with any medicine. The health ministry plans to make it mandatory for pharmacists, hospitals and other independent clinics to display the toll-free number – 18001803024 – in public interest.

The information received would be then screened and assessed by the Adverse Drug Reaction Monitoring Centres by using international parameters set by the World Health Organization (WHO), a senior official said. The ministry has also set up a steering committee which will periodically review the data and suggest any intervention that may be required, the official added

RBI bid to curb ponzi and online lottery schemes

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is working towards bringing out a charter on consumer rights which will help curb instances of ponzi and online lottery schemes, a senior bank official said in Chennai recently.

There have been several instances of online lottery scam asking people to pay service charge in order to release a large sum. Unfortunately, quite a few consumers do fall prey to it, RBI executive director, Umashankar Paliwal, said. He said victims of such scams had sought the central bank’s action against the companies. He was speaking at a two-day conference on consumer product safety.

New labels on drugs unsafe for pregnancy in US

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a rule and format for labelling of prescription drugs and other biological products used by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. The labels are to clearly include relevant information about the risks and benefits of these drugs and products so that women and doctors know the potential dangers of the medications.

Alarming statistics have emerged that the number of babies being born addicted to painkillers and opiates, known as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) had tripled in the past decade. NAS can lead to a number of disturbing health problems in children, such as low birth weight, birth defects and long-term learning impairments.

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