The Punjab Food Authority (PFA) has said that it is strictly enforcing the ban on fizzy drinks in schools across Lahore, adding that violators of the ban will be dealt with strictly. PFA had announced a complete ban on sale and availability of fizzy drinks in schools from August 14, 2017 citing the harmful effects such drinks have on children’s health and growth.
Talking to newsmen, PFA Director General Noorul Amin Mengal said no violator will be spared. “Notices of not supplying soft drinks to schools have been served to all companies, whilst the supplier company will be dealt with harshly,” Mengal said. PFA has also directed manufacturers and suppliers to refrain from providing such drinks to retailers, kiosks and shops within a 100-meter radius of educational institutions.
Mengal said that authorities in public and privately-owned educational institutions had also been taken into confidence over the measure, adding that their cooperation would be crucial in ensuring proper implementation of the ban. The DG said the ban was in accordance with the recommendation of the World Health Organization, adding that 44% of children in Pakistan suffered from stunted growth owing to a deficiency of Vitamin A and Iron.
Mengal has been busy conducting visits to various public and private schools across Lahore to inspect the effectiveness of the directives, slapping fines of up to Rs 10,000 where violation was witnessed.
Proven harmful effects of fizzy and cola drinks on children include childhood obesity, appetite loss, depleted levels of vitamin A, calcium and magnesium, tooth decay and dehydration.