Bombay high court on Monday quashed, as unlawful, an advisory issued in May 2013 by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for prior product approvals for dietary food and health supplements already licensed and existing in the market.
Vital Nutraceuticals pvt. Ltd. of Ambarnath in Thane district and Indian Drug Manufacturers Association (IDMA) had moved the high court and filed a writ petition challenging the advisory.
Justice R S More delivered the order on Monday. Earlier, a two-judge bench of the Bombay High Court comprising of Justce V M Kanade and Justice Girish Kulkarni had delivered a split verdict on whether the FSSAI had the power to issue guidelines requiring existing manufacturers to take approval for products that are already in the market. Hence the Chief Justice had referred the matter to Justice R S More.
The petitioners had filed the petition primarily on the ground that FSSAI does not have power or authority to issue these advisories which have an effect of amending regulations which have been framed under section 92 of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and that they are illegal and without any statutory force; they being issued neither under section 92 of the Act nor having been in consonance with section 16(2) and 18(2)(d) of the Act.
According to the May 2013 advisory of the FSSAI, food products covering a broad spectrum, including “novel foods, functional foods, food supplements, irradiated foods, genetically modified foods, foods for special dietary uses or extracts or concentrates of botanicals, herbs or of animal sources” should apply for product approval.