Following various comprehensive amendments to the food safety rules and regulations in recent times, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has further proposed stringent punishments like a fine of Rs 10 lakh and imprisonment up to life term for those caught adulterating food items. Apart from this, the FSSAI has also suggested the ‘Food Safety and Nutrition Fund’ that will be aimed at supporting promotional and outreach activities among food businesses and consumers.
These proposals are a few of the key changes that have been recommended by the FSSAI as amendments in the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
The draft proposal recommended a new section in the FSS Act – Section 59 – that would lead to imprisonment of seven years, which can be extended up to life term, besides imposing a fine of Rs 10 lakh on individuals and businesses who intentionally add adulterants to food items. It doesn’t matter if the adulteration has caused injury to the consumers, the punishment holds true nevertheless.
Increasing food adulteration
TOI reported the officials saying that the new proposal of provisions has come through following increasing instances of food adulteration in the country, that have caused harm to consumers in several cases in many states.
Following the proposal, the FSSAI has sought feedback from the different state governments on the new provisions in the amendment. It has also suggested a fund that can be used in the undertaking of special programmes on food safety and nutrition.