The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has fixed safety standards under the ‘Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins and Residues) Regulations, 2011, as amended from time to time. The Maximum Residual Levels (MRLs) of pesticides in fruits and vegetables have been specified in these standards. Presence of pesticide residues beyond these levels in fruits and vegetables is treated as a violation of the standards laid down under the said regulations, which attracts action as per provisions of the Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act. Subregulations 2.3.6 provide that fresh fruits and vegetables should be free from rotting and free from coating of waxes, mineral oil and colours with the provision that fresh fruits may be coated with bees wax (white and yellow) or carnauba wax or shellac wax at levels not exceeding Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) under proper label declaration. This was stated by health minister J P Nadda in a written reply in Lok Sabha recently.
Pesticides can adversely affect the nervous system and also cause several diseases such as cancer and those relating to liver, kidney, and lungs.
The information made available by the state/UT governments in respect of food samples collected, tested, found not conforming to the prescribed standards, and action taken against the violation of FSS Act, Rules and Regulations thereunder, during last three years is indicated below:
|Annual Laboratory Testing Report in States/UTs for the year 2012-13|
|Sr. No.||Name of the
|No. of Samples
|No. of Samples
|No. of Cases
|No. of Conviction
|1||Andhra Pradesh||1511||429||286||Rs. 55,000|
|2||A and N Islands||133||16||0||0|
|3||Arunachal Pradesh||198||11||11||2/Rs. 3,100|
|7||Chhattisgarh||353||142||111||45/ Rs. 11,84,000|
|Dadra and N.H.||–||–||–||0|
|9||Daman and Diu (Gujarat)||44||4||–||2|
|15||Jammu & Kashmir||2224||610||488||288/Rs. 28,52,050|
|33||Uttar Pradesh||11086||2927||2551||1010/Rs. 3,70,96,600|
|Annual Public Laboratory Testing Report (2013-2014)|
|Sr. No.||Name of the
|1.||A & N Islands||1||1||Nil||Nil||Nil||18/ Rs. 14,500|
|2.||Andhra Pradesh||4038||4038||716||417||200||Rs. 39,94,385|
|3.||Arunachal Pradesh||213||213||9||1||8||9/Rs. 6,33,000|
|5.||Bihar||1189||1103||121||19||71||Nil||14/ Rs. 2,26,000|
|7.||Chhattisgarh||294||294||112||56||Nil||7/ Rs. 3,49,000|
|8.||Dadra & N.H.||6||6||3||Nil||3||3/ Rs. 35,000||Nil|
|9.||Daman & Diu||40||40||0||0||0||0||0|
|12.||Gujarat||11111||10495||900||56||341||16||12/ Rs. 1,90,000|
|14.||Himachal Pradesh||236||157||129||1||22||0||7/ Rs 7,00,000|
|15.||Jammu & Kashmir||3109||2851||682||15||526||353||Rs. 2,76,600|
|31.||Tamil Nadu||707||658||261||8||40||16||Rs. 6,59,800|
|Annual Public Laboratory Testing Report for the year 2014-2015|
|Sr. No.||Name of the
|No. of samples
and/ or misbranded
|No. of Cases
|No. of Convictions
|1.||A and N Islands||17||16||4||0||0||0||14/Rs.4,55,000|
|5.||Bihar||1763||1320||7||16||5/ Rs. 38,000|
|8.||Dadra and N.H||9||2|
|9.||Daman and Diu||65||65||3||3||3/ Rs.30,000|
|14.||Himachal Pradesh *||218||132||31||24||28||25||Rs.22,93,000|
|15.||Jammu and Kashmir*||1397||1211||236||8||195||133||Rs.11,08,300|
|20.||Madhya Pradesh||9532||9131||1412||127||716||418||418/ Rs.43,28,000|
|36.||West Bengal||120||120||65||0||17||0||1/Rs. 30,000|
* Data up to 30.09.2014
The implementation and enforcement of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, primarily rests with the state/ UT governments. The officials of food safety departments of the respective states/ UTs collect random samples to ensure compliance with laid down standards. FSSAI interacts with the state food safety commissioners on such issues from time to time including in the meetings of the Central Advisory Committee.
Produce brought by farmers to Oddanchatram market to be tested; awareness campaign on production of high quality vegetables ro be created among farmers.
After reports of pesticide residue in vegetables supplied to Kerala, the Tamil Nadu government has decided to test vegetables brought by farmers to Oddanchatram wholesale market, the second biggest market in the State, and issue quality and food safety certification before sending them to Kerala.
To begin with, names of all transporters and wholesale vegetables traders would be registered under the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006. Licence would be given to farmers and traders by the Department of Food Safety and Drug Administration, officials here said.
All vegetable traders, retailers and farmers attached with Oddanchatram market would be brought under the legal framework. A record will be maintained to monitor supply of vegetables to the market from various villages.
Name and place of farmer, name and quantum of vegetables brought by him will be noted down in the record for a follow-up.
“Random samples of vegetables bought from farmers will be sent to Madurai lab for testing. If vegetables have high pesticide residue level, such farmers will be advised to scale down its use and go for organic manure. Agriculture and Horticulture officials will coordinate with Food Safety officials in this connection,” says T. Sam Elango, Designated Officer for Food Safety.
An awareness campaign on production of high quality vegetables will be created among farmers.
After checking the quality of vegetables, food safety certification will be issued.
Meanwhile, agriculture officials will monitor fertilizer shops about quantum of sale in all areas to monitor fertiliser use, he adds.
“Our prime aim is to allay fears of buyers in Kerala. We have launched a special drive in this connection. A special meeting with traders, transporters and retailers had been conducted in Oddanchatram and all agreed to cooperate.”
Kerala had given time till September 4 to bring vegetables with permissible toxic levels. Besides banning vegetables having pesticides, Kerala has made it mandatory for vegetable and fruit traders from other States to register and get a licence. Vehicles carrying fruits and vegetables from other States too should register as per the Food Safety Act.
A total ban on vegetables from Oddanchatram will leave at least 10,000 persons, including farmers, traders, transporters, load men, drivers and helpers jobless.
The Oddanchatram market was handling up to 500 tonnes of vegetable every day, traders said.
தமிழகத்தில் முதல் முறையாக திண்டுக்கல் மாவட்டத்தில் உழவர்சந்தை, காய்கறி கமிஷன் கடைகள், வாகனங்களுக்கு உணவுப்பாதுகாப்பு அலுவலகம் மூலம் சான்றுகள் வழங்கப்படவுள்ளன.
இதுகுறித்து திண்டுக்கல் மாவட்ட உணவுப்பாதுகாப்பு அலுவலர் சாம் இளங்கோ தெரிவித்துள்ளது: ஒட்டன்சத்திரம் மார்க்கெட்டில் இருந்து தினமும் ஏராளமான டன் காய்கறிகள் கேரளாவுக்கு கொண்டு செல்லப்படுகின்றன.
இதை கணக்கில் கொண்டு முதல்கட்டமாக மார்க்கெட்டில் உள்ள கமிஷன் கடைகளும், காய்கறி ஏற்றிச்செல்லும் வாகனங்களுக்கும் உணவுப்பாதுகாப்பு மற்றும் தர நிர்ணய சான்றுகள் தரவுள்ளோம். தொடர்ந்து மார்க்கெட்டுக்கு வரும் காய்கறிகளில் ரசாயனச் சோதனைகள் மேற்கொள்ளப்படும்.
இந்த முயற்சியை மாநிலத்திலேயே முதல்கட்டமாக திங்கள்கிழமை ஒட்டன்சத்திரத்தில் அமல்படுத்துகிறோம். இதே போல பழனியில் பழம் ஏற்றுமதி செய்யும் மண்டிகளிலும் ஆய்வு செய்து சான்றுகள் தரவுள்ளோம். இதனால் கேரள அதிகாரிகளுக்கு, தமிழ்நாட்டில் இருந்து வரும் காய்கறிகள், பழங்கள் மீது நம்பிக்கை ஏற்படும் என்றார்.
வடலூர்:குறிஞ்சிப்பாடி அருகே காங்., கூட்டத்திற்கு சென்றவர்கள் கெட்டு போன உணவை சாப்பிட்ட 26 பேர் வாந்தி, மயக்கம் ஏற்பட்டு மருத்துவ மனையில் சிகிச்சை பெற்று வருகின்றனர். அவர்களிடம் மாவட்ட உணவு பாதுகாப்பு அதிகாரி ராஜா விசாரனை நடத்தினார்.
குறிஞ்சிப்பாடி அடுத்த சித்தாளிக்குப்பத்தை சேர்ந்த 60 பேர் திருச்சியில் நடைபெற்ற காங்., கூட்டத்திற்கு சென்றனர். அதற்காக தனியாக ஒரு வீட்டில் எலும்பிச்சை சாதம் தயார் செய்து எடுத்து சென்று திருச்சியில் சாப்பிட்டுள்ளனர்.மீதியிருந்த அதே சாதத்தை கூட்டம் முடிந்து மறுநாள் வீட்டிற்கு எடுத்து வந்து சாப்பிட்டுள் ளனர்.
சாப்பிட்ட உணவு செரிக்காமல் நேற்று முன் தினம் ஒரு சிலருக்கு வாந்தி, மயக்கம் ஏற்பட்டது. அவர்கள் குறிஞ்சிப்பாடி அரசு மருத்துவ மனையில் சிகிச்சைக்காக அனுமதிக்கப்பட்டனர்.
இந்நிலையில் நேற்று முன் தினம் இரவு அடுத்தடுத்து பெண்கள் பலருக்கு லேசான மயக்கம் ஏற்பட்டதால் 26பேர் மருத்துவ மனையில் அனுமதிக்கப்பட்டு தொடர் சிகிச்சை பெற்று வருகின்றனர்.
இது குறித்து தகவல் அறிந்து மாவட்ட உணவு பாதுகாப்பு அதிகாரி டாக்டர் ராஜா, வட்டார உணவு பாதுகாப்பு அதிகாரி சுப்பிரமணி, விருத்தாசலம் உணவு பாதுகாப்பு அதிகாரி நல்லதம்பி ஆகியோர் மருத்துவ மனையில் வந்து சிகிச்சை பெற்றவர்களிடம் விசாரனை நடத்தினர்.
அதை தொடர்ந்து குறிஞ்சிப்பாடி பஸ் நிலையத்தில் டீ கடைகளில் கலப்பட டீ தூள் பயன்படுத்தப்படுகிறதா என ஆய்வு செய்தார். இதில் இரண்டு கடைகளில் பயன்படுத்தி வந்த கலப்பட டீ தூள்களை பறிமுதல் செய்து கொட்டி அழித்தார்.
Half-baked safety standards & nonchalant attitudes to hygiene: Is every food item prone to contamination?
Wade through the busy road leading to Azadpur Mandi in the Capital, Asia’s largest wholesale market for fruits and vegetables, and you will see different varieties being sold by the roadside. Also for sale are food products such as ketchup, pickles, spices, dry fruits, jaggery, pasta, syrups, herbs and edible oil — all in loose form. Flies, dirt and sweat complete the picture of this wholesale market where trucks can be seen entering every now and then.
Bang opposite the mandi is Bharat Test House (BTH), one of the 82 labs (most of them private) accredited by National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) and notified by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), the country’s apex food regulator.
Enter the small building and you will likely bump into KK Juneja, head of the food division at BTH. Talk about the Maggi controversy —and food safety — and the burly man with 50 years of experience in food testing opens up. "The Maggi revelations have woken up the masses but they are just the tip of the iceberg. Thousands of products are available in loose form, which are toxic and need quality checks," says Juneja, pointing towards the mandi.
The ban on Maggi and several other instant noodle brands in India since last month over the allegedly excessive levels of lead and the presence of monosodium glutamate (MSG) has been good for labs like BTH and the one Verghese Chacko runs in Rajajinagar in Bengaluru. "We got more than 100 noodle samples for testing of lead, just after the Maggi controversy," says the chief executive of Bangalore Test House.
The FSSAI on June 5 asked Nestle to recall all nine approved variants of Maggi and to remove the ‘no added MSG’ labelling on the Maggi packet since it was misleading.
After Nestle recalled Maggi, other instant noodle brands like Top Ramen and Ching’s have gone off shelves too, following orders from the FSSAI or state governments. The FSSAI also asked Nestle to withdraw Maggi Oats Masala Noodles as approval for the same had not been granted.
The companies have slammed FSSAI for not giving them a chance to respond and said ‘no added MSG’ is technically correct since it was not separately added as a taste enhancer. "It is a known fact that it is not possible to distinguish between naturally occurring glutamate and added glutamate in foods," FSSAI quoted Nestle as saying in its June 5 order. Nestle has recalled Maggi worth `320 crore from the market. Neither FSSAI CEO Yudhvir Singh Malik nor Nestle, which on Friday replaced its India head, responded to ET Magazine’s emails.
Nestle has taken the issue to the Bombay High Court where it is being heard.
The company has said the labs where the Maggi samples were tested are not NABLaccredited to test the product for lead.
The FSSAI lawyer reportedly responded that labs can conduct tests without the NABL accreditation if they are recognized by the regulator. "I have no reason to not trust accredited labs," says a senior FSSAI official who did not want to be named.
This week the court came down strongly on the FSSAI, asking why a showcause notice was not issued to Nestle; why all nine variants were banned when only three variants were tested; and why only Maggi was chosen for testing and not other noodle brands. The FSSAI’s lawyer argued that the body had the powers to issue a recall order without issuing a showcause notice, but said the FSSAI would now give the company a hearing. Interestingly, Singapore and Britain have declared made-in-India Maggi, which they import, to be safe.
Jignesh Parikh, quality control manager at RCA Laboratories in Mumbai, says there have been several enquiries from companies to have their products tested for MSG. "But we have turned them down because there are no guidelines for testing MSG." The lack of clarity or the absence of guidelines about certain ingredients in foods and what they contain, according to many, is one of the many problems plaguing food safety in India.
The problem is made all the more seri-ous by the fact that the size of the food processing industry in India is $180 billion and that the sector accounts for an eighth of India’s exports. "With the increase in industrialised production of chicken and aquaculture, we need to develop standards to test antibiotic residues in chicken and fish.
We currently have those only for a few antibiotics in fish," says Amit Khurana, head, food safety and toxins, at the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).
There are other standards like front-of-pack labelling, a standardised product recall process, regulation of junk food to children and related advertising and nutrition labelling in restaurants which are increasingly the norm in the US and Europe, but not in India. "In Europe they have gone from parts per million (a metric to measure contaminants) to parts per billion," says G Padmanabhan, who heads the research council at the Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI).
The 28-country European Union is considered to have the highest food standards globally. It comprises seven out of the top countries on the food safety parameter of The Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2015 Global Food Security Index. The US ranks third and India a lowly 79th out of 109 countries, with Bangladesh being its only South Asian neighbour placed even lower on the list.
Moreover, a 2013 study by Food Sentry, a consultancy, of 3,400 products in violation of standards exported by 117 countries found that India was the source for 11.1% of those products, more than any other country. The Food and Drug Administration, the US’s food regulator, has 54 import alerts for products from India, the fourth highest, with China topping the list at 79. In 2008, China faced one of its worst public health scares with nearly three lakh kids falling sick after consuming milk powder reportedly contaminated with a toxic industrial compound called melamine.
Europe has in the recent past banned the import of poultry products and mangoes from India, decisions which were subsequently reversed after assurances from India (see Foreign Trade Wall).
Scott Witt, vice president, analysis and production, Food Sentry, says the US’s performance is not much better than India, given that the US ranked fifth in Food Sentry’s study of countries with the most violations. "The US inspects less than 2% of its imported food, the EU somewhat more. But, companies importing to the US must meet strict FDA standards. For example, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plans are required in all cases." (HACCP is a management system in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards from raw material production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product.)
Till the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, India had a bunch of different food safety-related regulations, none of them comprehensive.
These included the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954, Food Product Order, 1955 and Edible Oils Packaging (Regulations) Order, 1988, all of which the Food Safety Act replaced. While the FSSAI was established in 2008, the Food Safety Act came into effect only in August 2011.
Ajay Gupta, managing director of Capital Foods, which owns the Ching’s and Smith & Jones brands, says it is not fair to compare India’s food standards with the US’s or Europe’s: "It’s like comparing a four-year-old baby with a 40-yearold man." RS Sodhi, managing director of the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), which owns the Amul brand, says companies have to ensure quality checks at the time of sourcing their products. "We have bulk milk coolers at our collection centres to reduce the bacterial count in our milk. Weinvest `8-10 lakh on each cooler. A private dairy company with multiple suppliers may not be able to do that."
While companies say that Indian standards are fine on paper, there needs to be better scrutiny by the FSSAI and NABL. "Many labs are not very well-equipped. That could be an area of concern. The FSSAI should have a panel of about 100 scientists who can ensure whether the equipments in labs are properly calibrated and the manpower is well-trained," says BK Rao, group product manager at biscuits maker Parle Products.
Satya Prakash, a former director of the Central Food Laboratory in Kolkata, found in a study that the standards in the Food Safety Act were the same as in the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, just renamed.
"He also referred to the manpower shortage in state-owned labs like the Central Food Labora-tory in Kolkata: "There has been no offer to analyse the samples since 2010 because all seven sanctioned posts are lying vacant," he told the CSE’s Environment Health Bulletin in 2012. About the Central Food Lab in Sonauli in Uttar Pradesh, he said, "Time to time, staff is posted from Ghaziabad to run the laboratory on an ad hoc basis and though regular posts were created in the year 2008, none have been filled so far."
Testing Standards Bangalore Test House’s Chacko says the accreditation process for labs is rigorous, transparent and expensive, and the labs are recertified every second year after accreditation.
"Many labs also claim to be NABL-accredited when they have actually been accredited only for a few parameters. The entire scope has to be covered but then nobody is checking," he adds.
The four-storeyed lab, which got its accreditation 13 years ago, tests samples of processed foods, raw material, ayurvedic herbal drugs, water, soil and pharmaceutical products and has one of the country’s largest fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies as its client. The lab has 65 chemists on its rolls, and costs `35 lakh a year to maintain.
India’s food testing standards as laid down by FSSAI are on a par with those in the US, feels Chacko. But the difference is food testing here is not mandatory for every batch. "After you get FSSAI approval, the certificate and number, it’s a free for all. They don’t come back till it has to be renewed, though they should ideally carry out tests throughout the year."
But the expense, rather than the lack of labs, will be a hurdle, particularly for smaller players, he points out. "Each test costs between `10,000 and `15,000 and various tests are prescribed. How will a small player be able to afford this?" The number and kind of tests vary according to the product: for whole coriander, to take one example, FSSAI prescribes eight different tests, apart from those for identifying the presence of heavy metals.
"Every food manufacturing facility has to have a quality control lab for an internal quality check. In the next stage, the product is sent to a third-party independent testing lab. After following the due procedure, we either certify that the product is free from any toxic substance or we reject the product," says Juneja.
He adds that the operative cost of each instrument is very high and that the government must offer financial assistance for the upkeep and upgrade of the lab. "For example if we buy an instrument that costs a crore and we receive only a handful of samples from companies, how will we cover the costs," asks Vaibhav Gupta, deputy chief executive, BTH, which tests wholesale spices, edible oils, tea and coffee, jaggery, sugar, syrups and juices.
Conflict of Interest
The bigger issue is the conflict of interest in labs being paid by companies whose products they test and certify. Since the labs expect more business from companies, they may go soft on violations in the companies’ products. The labs and companies we spoke to, not surprisingly, deny this.
But as Michael Moss, Pulitzer Prize-winning former New York Times journalist and author of Salt Sugar Fat:
How the Food Giants Hooked Us says, it is in the companies’ own interest to ensure no corners are cut: "There are some food companies that go to great lengths to test their foods, believing that testing not only will help prevent them from getting caught up in a bad food scandal, but will also help them monitor their supplies and make improvements when contamination is found."
Other than processed foods, experts bemoan the lack of stringent standards for restaurants, roadside eateries and organic foods. "Look at this new wave of organic food. Shelves are filled with such products in most of the hypermarkets. My worry is, if they are so much in supply, how come we do not receive a single such product for testing and ascertaining that they are indeed organic? Consumers need to keep their eyes and ears open," adds Juneja.
In a country where taste is primal, health matters take a back seat usually and take centre stage only when there’s some big expose. "Millions of controversies around food safety happened in the past too but no one talks of them (now). The mixing of argemone oil (a source of sanguinarine, a toxic quaternary ammonium salt) in mustard oil is one, the presence of high level of nickel (toxic to the body in all but trace amounts) in a leading chocolate brand is another. I wonder how long will people remember the Maggi controversy and the need for food safety," says Juneja.
Whether or not people remember the current crisis for long, this is a wake-up call as good — and as grave — as any for both the government and companies to substantially raise the bar on food standards. This is essential to prevent a public health scandal and restore the trust of the public in the foods they would otherwise buy without even a thought.
GHAZIABAD: The Uttar Pradesh Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has raided a departmental store in Rajendra Nagar area of Sahibabad here and found that it was displaying expired food items.
FDA inspector Yaduveer Singh Yadav told that during its routine exercise the team reached Vishal Mega Mart and searched its counters for various eatable items being displayed for sale.
During the inspection, the team found that 20 packets of a sweet dish, displayed on the counters, had expired.
A video film of the displayed items was also taken by FDA team as evidence.
Rice and black gram were also found to be infested with weevil moths, bugs and borers. They were also on display on counters for "loose sale".
Sample of soan papdi (4 packets), rice and black gram were seized by the FDA team.
The store manager was directed to destroy rice (50 kg), black grams (80 kg) and 16 packets of ‘soan papdi’ in presence of FDA officials, the officer said.
Seized samples will be sent to laboratory for testing, he said.
Head of HR department of Vishal Mega Mart, Rajesh Mishra, said that the expired ‘soan papdi’ was stored in their warehouse where customers don’t have any access.
But, he, accepted that rice and black gram was infested due to moisture.
Mishra said that some of the expired products are taken back by the manufacturers while remaining items are destroyed at regular intervals.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:The government on Friday declined to adopt a private members’ resolution moved by E S Bijimol in the Assembly calling for the state and Central governments to implement the laws aimed at preventing the use of pesticides and other toxic weedicides to ensure food safety.
Health Minister V S Sivakumar told the House that as the government had already initiated effective measures to ensure food safety, there was no need for adopting Bijimol’s resolution.
He claimed the government had taken steps to register all food stalls, from street stalls to star hotels. He“Licence and registration for food stalls will help taper the import of toxic vegetables. From September 1, the government would set up new testing facilities” he said.Friday was the designated day for private members to present resolutions and bills. But, there was less than half an hour to discuss the resolution as the House had to adjourn by 12.20 pm for facilitating the Muslim members to offer Namaz.
Bijimol, moving the resolution, said excessive use of pesticides and toxic substances on vegetables was not only polluting the food items but also was taking a toll on the environment. She pointed out the unrestrained use of toxic pesticides had caused serious ailments to a large number of people.“There is already laws to curb adulteration in food items. But the failure to effectively implement the laws and the lack of awareness on the subject has let the adulteration to go unchecked” she pointed out.E K Vijayan of the CPM said there should be a sincere effort to promote organic vegetables. The spurt in the number of cancer patients is a wake up call. He pointed out that jackfruit was the only food item now available in the market which is not pesticide-ridden. C P Mohammad of the Congress said everyday 2,480 tonne of vegetables were being imported from Tamil Nadu alone.
New Delhi: Food safety regulator FSSAI has come out with quality and safety norms to regulate food or health supplements, nutraceuticals, functional and dietary foods and has sought public comments on the same.
At present, India does not have any kind of regulatory guidelines for approval and monitoring of such products. The official notification of these norms will check counterfeit products and encourage stakeholders to invest in this fast-growing industry.
Food safety regulator FSSAI has come out with quality and safety norms to regulate food or health supplements, nutraceuticals, functional and dietary foods and has sought public comments on the same.
According to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), the draft regulations have been framed for manufacture and sale of — food or health supplements, nutraceuticals, foods for special dietary uses, foods for special medical purpose, functional foods and novel food. Comments will be accepted during the next 60 days. The norms will come into effect from the ensuing January 1 or July of the year, it said.
As per the norms, FSSAI said, "No person shall manufacture, pack, sell, offer for sale, market or otherwise distribute or import any food products referred to in these regulations unless they comply with the requirements laid down in these regulations."
The formulation of the foods should be based on sound medical or nutritional principles and supported by validated scientific data, wherever required. FSSAI also said that no hormones or steroids or psychotropic ingredients should be added in these foods.
The labels should clearly mention the purpose, the target consumer group and the physiological or disease conditions which they address, apart from the specific labelling requirements as mentioned against each type of food. The labels, accompanying leaflets/or other labelling and advertising of all types of foods, referred to in these regulations, should provide sufficient information on the
nature and purpose of the food as well as detailed instructions and precautions for their use, it said.
A food, which has not been particularly modified in any way but is suitable for use in a particular dietary regimen because of its natural composition, should not be designated as "Food Supplements" or "Special Dietary" or "Special Dietetic" or by any other equivalent term, it added.
FSSAI said: "The Food Authority may suspend or restrict the trade of such foods as have been placed in the market that are not clearly distinguishable from foods for normal consumption nor are suitable for their claimed nutritional purpose, or may endanger the human health."
The Food Authority may, at any time, ask a food business operator manufacturing and selling such special types of foods to furnish details regarding the history of use of nutrients added or modified and their safety evaluation, it added.
According to Assocham-RNCOS recent paper, nutraceuticals, dietary supplements and functional foods market in India is estimated to grow from the current USD 5.6 billion to USD 12.1 billion in the next five years.