FSSAI is in the news again, this time in an attempt to establish a high-tech laboratory network that will serve as a reference point in the off (or frequent) event that conflicting reports emerge during the primary testing of food samples. The results would then be considered as evidence that could result in action taken if the tests are failed.
FSSAI has identified about 15 laboratories across India that will be upgraded with state-of-the-art infrastructure to conduct advanced testing.
“We are aiming to use these labs to resolve whatever dispute or confusion arises out of conflicting test results from different laboratories,” said Pawan Agarwal, CEO of FSSAI.
“After primary testing at local labs, the sample is sent to an appellate authority in case of any confusion. These high-tech labs will have the authority to certify and their word will be final,” he added. The lab network will be created in a phased manner and is expected to take about a year to complete.
“We are also creating four new labs in Ghaziabad, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai where samples will be tested using modern methods. There will be dedicated sections for testing of dairy, poultry, vegetables and other items,” said Agarwal.
Recently, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India criticised the FSSAI for the state of government-run testing labs.