In an interesting turn of events, the Food Safety Standards and Authority of India (FSSAI) has been brought into the limelight yet again.
A joint committee of food sector’s nine organizations has demanded refund of Rs 80 crore collected by the regulator product approvals through advisories since 2013.
Yet Another Recall
The panel, National Joint Action Committee, said that the advisories issued by the FSSAI since 2013 should be withdrawn immediately to give respect to Supreme Court’s order of August 19, which hold that these directives do not have the force of law.
“About Rs 80 crore have been collected by FSSAI for product approval through advisory and since advisory has no locus standee, the said fund should either be refunded to persons from whom it is collected or should be used for Clean India drive of Prime Minister,” a statement, issued by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), which is a member of the committee, said today.
Raising a voice
“Nine national organizations of stakeholders of the food industry have joined hands together and formed a National Joint Action Committee to launch a nationwide campaign against the high-handed attitude of FSSAI and to make a strong public advocacy in the country for review and overhauling of Rules and Regulations of Food Safety & Standards Act,” it said.
“Since 2013 the FSSAI has issued about 15 advisories which are in public domain and with order of Supreme Court, all such advisories tend to be redundant and as such liable to be withdrawn,” it added.
Food safety regulator FSSAI was established under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, which consolidates various acts and orders that hitherto handles food related issues.
A new set of Food Navratans
Organisations including CAIT, Indian Drugs Manufacturers Association, Indian Hotel & Restaurant Association, Protein Food & Nutrition Development Association, Federation of Pharma Entrepreneurs, All India Food Processors Association, Retail Druggist & Chemists Association, All India Transport Welfare Association and Bhartiya Kisan Morcha are the members of the committee.
The FSSAI has been acting a tad bit fishy – to say the least – of late. What with Yudhvir Singh Malik’s sudden transfer from the organization where he served as CEO for just about a year but brought it into limelight with the Maggi ban. Coincidence?
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