FSSAI should bring the taskforce report on Product Approval System to public, urges IDMA


While questioning the legality of Product Approval System, that FSSAI is planning to comeback with, Indian Drug Manufacturers Association (IDMA) urged Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to bring the report prepared by 18-member taskforce on Product Approval System, under the chairmanship of eminent scientist, V. Prakash, to public light, which they believe must be against the current system, here in Mumbai today.

R. K. Sanghvai, chairman, Nutraceutical Sub-committee IDMA said “FSSAI is clearly doing a contempt of court if they asking for a product approval to any product or company, including in the case of atta noodles manufactured by Patanjali Ayurved. The food industry valued around 45 thousand crore will come to a standstill and there will be shortage of food products that are already in the market, if the pre-market product approval comes into force.”

Meanwhile, in a letter written to IDMA and signed by Dr. Rubeena Shaheen, director of Product Approval, FSSAI in October reads “The FSSAI is making every effort to expeditiously frame regulations on Product Approvals. Till the regulations are notified, the provisions of the act and the regulations there under shall remain in operation.” The same comment was repeated in a RTI filed querying the status of product approval.

Sandeep Gupta, vice chairman, Nutraceutical Sub-committee, IDMA, said “We have made several representations and communications with FSSAI, Health Ministry and Food Processing ministry regarding the product approval process and the hardship faced by food processing industry, but are firm to go ahead the reframing of regulations to bring back Product approval System. FSSAI certifies safety on paper which has already been proven futile in the recent episode of the popular brand of noodles”.  

The press note of IDMA, reads “FSSAI is obsessed with bringing in a Food Approval System that does not exist in any country in the world and is clearly “more restrictive of trade than is required to achieve appropriate level of health protection. What is needed is surveillance in the market place by the FSSAI on products available and takes suitable action, as already provided for by the FSSA, if any of them do not comply with prevailing regulations.”

The note further says “The losers, if the product approval system is reintroduced, would be the food industry resulting in loss of productivity of India, the consumer since availability of products already being consumed could stall; the Indian public since employment opportunities will fold up and even retrenching of labor could be the outcome; loss of export opportunities; and even loss to the drive for “Make in India” movement because there is no reason why foreign industry should come to India to suffer unnecessary, unheard of restrictions”. 

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