Government to give Food Safety and Standards Authority of India more teeth
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), in its latest move on Tuesday, recommended imposition of ban on milk and milk products, chocolates from China for one-year period, i.e, till June 23, 2016. India imposed ban on said-products firstly in September 2008, after having found presence of melamine (used for making plastics and fertilizer) in the imported products. The recent move has been termed as a preventive measure, as India doesn’t import milk products from China. “Ban on import of milk and milk products, including chocolates and chocolate products and candies/confectioneries/ food preparations with milk and milk solids as ingredients from China may be extended for a period of one year, up to June 23, 2016, unless the safety risk assessment is undertaken based on availability of credible reports and supporting data in respect of the said products,” said FSSAI, in its latest order. A committee, which examined the matter on Monday, was said to have decided that the ban should continue until there is credible evidence or representation from China that their products no more have this contamination. It is noteworthy to mention that the ban has been extended many times so far by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) till June 23, 2015. Meanwhile, Indian government is also likely to put aside the traditional way of food inspection through lab checks and is mulling to switch to the international norms of random and risk-based checking. And, to further ensure food safety in the country, the Union Health Ministry has proposed a grant of Rs 900 crore to FSSAI in a move to support FSSAI strengthen its regulatory mechanism. However, the proposal through which FSSAI is expected to revamp its laboratories and infrastructure across the country in the coming three years period, is yet to get the Cabinet nod.
June 24, 2015 | 7:37 pm IST.