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FSSAI to Streamline Food Safety Regulations

  • 10 Feb 2024
  • 6 min read

For Prelims: Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), Agricultural Marketing(AGMARK)

For Mains: Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, Food and Nutrition insecurity, Streamline Food Safety Regulations

Source: PIB

Why in News?

In a recent meeting held in New Delhi, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) approved various amendments aimed at simplifying food safety regulations and promoting ease of doing business.

  • FSSAI will issue a draft notification in this regard and will seek stakeholders’ comments before finalising the amendments.

What are the Proposed Amendments in Food Safety and Standard Regulations?

  • Elimination of Multiple Certifications:
  • Facilitation of Ease of Doing Business:
    • The amendments align with the government's vision of 'One Nation, One Commodity, One Regulator,' intending to simplify regulations and administrative processes for businesses operating in the food sector.
  • Expansion of Standards:
    • Apart from the simplification of the certification process, the proposed amendments include the establishment of standards for Mead (Honey wine) and Alcoholic Ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages, and the introduction of standards for 'Haleem,' a dish made of meat, pulses, grains, and other ingredients.
      • Haleem currently lacks defined quality parameters.

What is the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India?

  • About:
    • FSSAI is an autonomous statutory body established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, of 2006.
      • The Act of 2006, consolidates various laws related to food, such as the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954, the Fruit Products Order, 1955, the Meat Food Products Order, 1973, and other acts that were previously handled by different ministries and departments.
        • The Act also aims to establish a single reference point for all matters relating to food safety and standards, by moving from multi-level, multi-departmental control to a single line of command.
    • FSSAI is responsible for protecting and promoting public health by regulating and supervising food safety and quality in India, operating under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
    • FSSAI has a headquarters in New Delhi and regional offices in eight zones across the country.
    • The Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of FSSAI, appointed by central government. The Chairperson is in the rank of Secretary to the Government of India.
  • Functions and Powers:
    • Framing of regulations and standards for food products and additives.
    • Granting of licences and registration to food businesses.
    • Enforcement of food safety laws and regulations.
    • Monitoring and surveillance of food safety and quality.
    • Conducting risk assessment and scientific research on food safety issues.
    • Providing training and awareness on food safety and hygiene.
    • Promoting food fortification and organic food.
    • Coordinating with other agencies and stakeholders on food safety matters.
  • Events and Campaigns:

Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS)

  • BIS is the National Standard Body of India established under the BIS Act 2016. It operates under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution.
  • BIS is responsible for the harmonious development of standardisation, marking and quality certification of goods.
    • BIS has its headquarters in New Delhi.
  • The BIS Act, 2016, empowers the government to authorise agencies beyond BIS for certification and enforcement of standards.
    • It includes consumer protection measures such as product recalls, compensation, and stricter penalties for non-conforming standard-marked products.

Agricultural Marketing(AGMARK)

  • AGMARK is a certification mark for agricultural produce, assuring that they conform to a grade standard notified by the Directorate of Marketing & Inspection (DMI), Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare under Agricultural Produce (Grading Marking) Act, 1937.
  • These standards differentiate between quality and 2-3 grades are prescribed for each commodity.
    • Till date, grade standards for 222 agricultural commodities have been notified.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Question

Prelims

Q. Consider the following statements: (2018)

  1. The Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 replaced the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954.
  2. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is under the charge of Director General of Health Services in the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: (a)


Mains:

Q.1 Elaborate the policy taken by the Government of India to meet the challenges of the food processing sector. (2021)

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