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Return 39 batches of seized candy: HC to FDA

25,December, 2012

Relief for Parle Court observes similar action not taken against others.

In the dispute between Parle Biscuits Private Limited and the state Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) Department, the Bombay High Court recently directed the department to return the company’s stock of lactic acid and 39 batches of its product Kaccha Mango Bite.

Parle moved HC after FDA in October raided its factories in Nashik and Raigad and seized the candies worth Rs 2.36 crore.

The department had claimed that lactic acid, which is present in the confectionery, is a banned substance under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. It had also taken action on the grounds that the product contained colour beyond permissible limits.

However, a division bench of Justice S J Vazifdar and Justice R Y Ganoo held that there was no evidence to suggest that lactic acid was banned under the Act.

While the judges noted that similar action had not been taken against other manufacturers, they clarified that their judgment was not based on inaction in the case of other similar products.

Appearing for Parle, their counsel Virag Tulzapurkar contended that lactic acid is used worldwide in such products and similar products are freely imported into India.

The FDA had seized 48 batches of the confectionery during raids. Additional government pleader Sandeep Shinde told the court that of these, only nine contained colour in excess. The court has now directed that the department release the 39 batches which contain the permissible level of colour.

A spokesperson for Parle said, “All our products go through stringent quality norms — be it the ingredients, processes, packaging material, etc. We have always placed our consumers first, and will continue to follow this philosophy in future as well.”

Categories: NEWS
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    More such cases will clear doubts on FSSA implementation

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