Food Safety Enforcement News – India updates – Nov – 19 -2017

GENERAL

Use of vegetable oil for repeated frying to be monitored by FSSAI soon

Use of vegetable oil for repeated frying, a common practice across the county in spite of the health hazards, will soon be monitored as FSSAI, in its recent gazette notification, has ruled the standards relating to total polar compound (TPC) in cooking oil. Called the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) First Amendment Regulations, 2017, they will come into force from July 1, 2018
The said standards have been finalised after taking into consideration the comments of stakeholders. FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) has noted that the repeated use of the same oil for frying leads to changes in the physiochemical, nutritional and sensory properties of edible oil. Keeping this in view, the quality of the oil must be monitored to avoid the use of degraded oil for cooking purposes. 
At present, the regulations consist of only general provisions to avoid the reheating and reusing of cooking oil, which should be avoided. According to the notification, under the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011, in  Schedule 4, in Part-V, under the clause relating to fried foods, a regulation stating that vegetable oil having developed TPC in excess of 25 per cent shall not be used will be added. 
Expressing his view on FSSAI’s move, Umesh Verma, spokesperson, Puri Oil Mills Limited, promoter of P Mark mustard oil, said, “With this move, the apex regulator will be able to monitor the oil quality as it wants to ensure that a quality experience is provided to the consumers at large and maintain international-level quality standards.” 
Commenting on the benefits of using various edible oils, he added, “Each edible oil has some particular fatty acids which are beneficial to human beings. Trying different edible oils will introduce us to a variety of beneficial fatty acids. As a result, doctors recommend rotating edible oils at regular intervals at home.” 
“For instance, Omega 3 fatty acid is only found in mustard, rapeseed, flaxseed oil and soybean oil. So if a person consumes only olive oil, he/she is devoid of the benefits of Omega 3 with his/her edible oil intake,” Verma said. 
The problem with reusing edible oil is that it can create free radicals which cause health problems in the long run. 
According to an expert, “Free radicals attach themselves to healthy cells and lead to diseases. These free radicals can be carcinogenic (I. e., they can cause cancer) and lead to increase in bad cholesterol levels, blocking the arteries. That is why doctors advise to avoid eating roadside snacks.” 
“One of the biggest functions of cooking oil is to fry food. As cooking oil degrades, it affects the texture, taste and overall flavour experience of the food,” Verma said. 
“Because of this, the draft released by FSSAI will be quite helpful in implementing and monitoring the edible oil quality. so that the consumers get the best-quality fried foods,” he added. 
Verma stated, “Measuring total polar materials (TPM) is the most predominant indicator and scientific measurement for oil quality. They are widely used in many international markets, where the oil quality is strictly regulated.”

FSSAI to propose rating restaurants and eateries to ensure quality of food

 
The food safety regulator has now turned its attention to restaurants, eating joints and hotels to enforce safety standards.
Food and Safety Standards Authority of India, the country’s top food regulator, has put forth a proposal that businesses which deal with food should be rated on factors such as hygiene and safety to make sure they are trusted by consumers.
Pawan Agarwal, the regulator’s chief executive, in a statement to the Hindustan Times, said that the apex body is now particularly keen on rating food businesses through several “hygiene variety factors”. The regulator is looking to assign star ratings to restaurants and eating places out of six, taking into account factors like hygiene awareness, safety processes, etc.
A sub-group was formed following a meet last week in New Delhi among the FSSAI, National Restaurant Association of India and the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) to amend rules that govern safety standards at eating establishments.
Display of food licenses will be made a necessary factor in rating food businesses with consumer trust seemingly being the biggest driving factor behind the move. The businesses that will be rated will include manufacturers of food items, sellers of food items and other business operators in the sector.
Last year, reports went viral about a couple in Mangalore who found worms in their meal at a KFC outlet. A similar instance was recorded a few months ago at a Domino’s Pizza outlet in New Delhi when a customer who had ordered a pizza found an oregano seasoning sachet infested with insects, which led to a subsequent drop in shares of Jubilant Food Works Ltd, the company operating the Domino’s brand in India.
The food regulator recently started the concept of ‘food safety supervisors’ in all food businesses to ensure quality items reach consumers. The supervisor should be trained under the Food Safety Training and Certification Programme (FoSTaC) designed by FSSAI and would be responsible for ensuring that the quality of food is maintained.
These happen to include shops, stalls, hotel, restaurants airline services and food canteens, places or vehicles where any article of food is sold or manufactured or stored for sale.The FSSAI license is already compulsory for ensuring food safety and quality of food products.
 

FSSAI tightens the noose around eateries without food licence

 
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) CEO Pawan Kumar Agarwal said it will first ask states to run a special drive to create awareness among food business operators about the compulsory requirement of licences.
Food safety regulator FSSAI today warned that hotels and restaurants operating without its licence will be sealed and closed if they fail to take permits in the next 3 months.
The rule for licence also applies to those establishments, including religious places, where food is not charged. However, petty manufacturers, retailers and hawkers, among others, are exempt from this.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) CEO Pawan Kumar Agarwal said it will first ask states to run a special drive to create awareness among food business operators about the compulsory requirement of licences.
“I am told that 30-40 per cent of our restaurants and hotels do not have FSSAI licences. If this is the law of the land, is it acceptable?” he asked at a FICCIconference on food service retail ‘Foodzania 2017’ here.
Stating that there is some confusion in businesses on whether the FSSAI licence is mandatory, Agarwal made it clear that it is compulsory for all food businesses and non- compliance is not justified.
“Since there is still some confusion, we are asking state governments to take up a special drive. After the time period for that is over, we are advising them to seal and close all such units across the country if they fail to take FSSAI licences,” he said.
FSSAI Enforcement Director, Agarwal said, has been tasked with ensuring 100 per cent licensing of restaurants and hotels in the next three months. He made it clear that there will be “no comprise at all”.
Stating that FSSAI licence is needed for food business even if the food is not charged, he said that “even in temples, they are supposed to have FSSAI licences or registration, depending on the size of the business. Therefore, there is no option”.
He further said that after taking the licence, food businesses also need to comply with all the regulations such as submission of food safety management plan.
As per the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, no person shall commence or carry out any food business except under a licence.
Under the law, food business means any undertaking, whether for profit or not and whether public or private, carrying out activities related to any stage of manufacturing, processing, packaging, storage, transportation, distribution of food, import and includes catering services, sale of food or ingredients.
According to the FSSAI CEO, the regulator will soon make it mandatory for all food businesses to have at least one person as food safety supervisor who has to be trained and certified as per its curriculum.
Agarwal stressed that food operators should display their licence at prominent points on their premises. The display board at any restaurant should also have contact details of customer care as well as food inspector of that location.
The FSSAI is working on developing rating for “hygiene and hygiene plus” and the same will be out soon.The food watchdog has been in operation for the last six years and by now, all hotels and restaurants should have secured the licence, Agarwal added.
JAMMU & KASHMIR

13 food outlets found selling substandard, unhygienic food in Srinagar

Rs 1.4 lakh fine imposed on operators
Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday imposed a fine of Rs 1.4 lakh on 13 food outlets in summer capital for selling sub-standard food articles and processing of food items under unsanitary conditions.
Officials said the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar has imposed a fine of Rs 1,40,000 on 13 food business operators including restaurants owners, traditional bakers, milk vendors and butchers for violating various provisions of Food Safety and Standards Act.
“The offenses include selling/ manufacturing sub-standard food articles and processing of food items in unsanitary conditions,” they said.
“Each baker and milk vendor was imposed a fine of Rs 10000, butcher Rs 50,000 and restaurant owner has been slapped with a fine of Rs 50,000,” officials said.
The food safety wing of drugs and food control organization has warned food operators of strict action under food safety act in case they fail to maintain the high level of hygiene.
The team of Food Safety Officers, headed by Assistant Commissioner, Food Safety Srinagar, Hilal Ahmad Mir also inspected various markets in Chanapora, Nishat, Lal Chowk and Dalgate areas.
“During the inspection, many restaurants, bakery shops, and butchers were found processing food in total unsanitary conditions. Some of them have been using synthetic colours in many popular food items,” Mir told Kashmir Reader.
He said the substandard and unhygienic preparations were destroyed on spot and the owners were warned to desist from such kind of malpractices in future.
“If we found them indulging in any such activity we will take strict action against them under relevant provisions of food safety and standards act,” he said.
However, the officer was reluctant to share the details: “It doesn’t look good. Their offense is not so grave that we will publicize their names in the media.”
Food Safety Officers also expressed the similar reservation saying that they couldn’t name the business operators.
“We are not authorized to speak on the issue,” they said.
ODISHA

Profiteers fined Rs 32000 in Ganderbal

GANDERBAL: The Court of Additional Deputy Commissioner-cum- Adjudicating Officer Syed Shahnawaz Bukhari under the Food Safety Act on Wednesday imposed a fine of Rs 32,000 on a number of traders for violating the Food Safety and Standards Act-2006. 
The ADC warned all the stakeholders who are involved with food business to desist such practices in future and directed the concerned authorities to conduct market checking on a daily basis to monitor whether hygienic and quality food is made available to the general public.
PUNJAB

Ahead of CM’s visit, administration tightens noose around Meerut meat shops

Meerut: After a gap of almost three months, the Meerut district administration has again tightened its noose on the city’s meat trade. On Wednesday, Food Safety and Drugs Administration (FSDA) officials led by city magistrate MP Singh raided several meat shops in the Ghantaghar area of the city.
Backed by a heavy police force, FSDA officials sealed four shops for allegedly flouting norms related to hygiene and mandated equipment. Chief food safety officer, FSDA, Sarvesh Mishra told TOI, “The raid was conducted to ensure that all mandatory provisions for licences to run meat shops were being observed. During the raid, four shops selling chicken and other kinds of meat were sealed because they were found flouting these provisions. Owners of all four have been booked under relevant sections of Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006. We even destroyed 20 kg of chicken meat in the process.”
Following an initial crackdown soon after Yogi government in March 2017 took charge in UP, police had eventually adopted a soft approach to enforcing the norms for the meat trade around Eid.
Haji Raees (name changed), who sells buffalo meat said, “The sudden arrival of a huge police force with officials reminded us of the ugly period in April when not only were the shops forcibly shut by the police, but supply of meat had also been curbed after orders from the administration. All this is again happening ahead of the chief minister’s visit on November 18. This indicates that the difficult days are back for us, particularly with the civic body elections about to take place.”
CM Yogi is slated to visit Meerut on Saturday to attend a rally for civic polls.
City superintendent of police Maan Singh Chauhan, however, refuted the charges and said, “The CM’s visit has nothing to do with the raid. All the four shops sealed did not have licences to run their establishments. They were flouting all the norms like not cutting meat in the open. They did not have glass doors, and had flouted other requirements.”
The team also raided a restaurant in the area, Al Kareem. “We found 53 cooking gas cylinders stocked there, and have seized them,” Chauhan added.
City magistrate MP Singh said, “The drive will be conducted every week to ensure there is no flouting of the law.
UTTAR PRADESH

FSDA seized two quintals of chemical-laced peas

Agra: A day after a video of chemically coloured peas being sold in the Agra vegetable market went viral, food safety and drug administration (FSDA) officials on Thursday seized two quintals of adulterated peas from Bodla market here. The contaminated peas could cause diseases such as cancer if consumed in large portions, said officials.
The team, led by assistant commissioner of FSDA Vineet Kumar, conducted raids at several street vendor units and found traders mixing vegetables with harmful chemicals.
Kumar said, “During a surprise raid at Bodla market, we found some vendors mixing rotten peas in a chemical solution. Two quintals of the adulterated vegetables were seized. The chemicals were sent to a laboratory for examination. We will book the traders once reports about the adulteration are confirmed.”
“The district FSDA has failed to curb this menace. A notice will be served to the district chief food inspector and other concerned officials seeking explanation of their failure in stopping adulteration of food items,” added Kumar.
In several crackdowns in the past six months in Agra, FSDA officials have found instances such as milk mixed with detergent powder and tomato and chilli sauces having harmful chemicals in them.
During a raid at Belanganj, in October, the team also seized several tonnes of adulterated tea packets in which the manufacturer was found mixing cashew nut husk. The team, under Kumar’s leadership, had also caught local men who were found mixing husk of various kinds in regular spices to increase their content inside packets. In Itmad-ud-daula area, last month, officials had caught men mixing vegetable oil in ghee.
 
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Food Safety Enforcement News – Tamilnadu Updates – Nov – 19 -2017

GENERAL

வேதிப்பொருள்கள் கலப்பதாகப் புகார்..! டாஸ்மாக் மதுபானங்களின் தரத்தை ஆராய நீதிமன்றம் உத்தரவு

டாஸ்மாக் மதுபானங்களில் வேதிப்பொருள்கள் கலப்பதாக, சென்னை உயர் நீதிமன்றத்தில் தொடரப்பட்ட வழக்கை விசாரித்த நீதிமன்றம், மதுபானங்களின் தரத்தை ஆராய உத்தரவிட்டுள்ளது.

தமிழகத்தில், டாஸ்மாக் நிறுவனம் மூலம் அரசே மதுபானங்களை விற்பனை செய்துவருகிறது. மதுபானங்களைத் தனியார் நிறுவனங்களிடமிருந்து டாஸ்மாக் நிறுவனம் கொள்முதல்செய்து, கடைகளுக்கு அனுப்பிவைக்கிறது. 
டாஸ்மாக் கடைகளில் விற்பனைசெய்யப்படும் மதுபானங்களின் தரம் மிகவும் மோசமாக இருப்பதால், அதுபற்றிய ஆய்வுக்கு உத்தரவிட வேண்டும் என்று சென்னை உயர் நீதிமன்றத்தில் ஸ்ரீராமன் என்பவர் வழக்குத் தொடர்ந்திருந்தார். மதுபானங்களில் வேதிப்பொருள்களை கலப்பதாகவும் அவர் புகார் கூறியிருந்தார். 
இந்த வழக்கு இன்று விசாரணைக்கு வந்தது. வழக்கை விசாரித்த நீதிமன்றம், இதுபற்றி விளக்கம் அளிக்குமாறு 17 மதுபான ஆலைகளுக்கு நோட்டீஸ் அனுப்ப உத்தரவிட்டது. மேலும், தமிழக உணவுப் பாதுகாப்பு ஆணையர், மதுபான ஆலைகளுக்கு நேரில் சென்று மதுபானங்களின் தரம்குறித்து ஆய்வு நடத்த வேண்டும்; அதுபற்றிய அறிக்கையை டிசம்பர் 22-ம் தேதிக்குள் நீதிமன்றத்தில் தாக்கல்செய்ய வேண்டும் என்றும் சென்னை உயர் நீதிமன்றம் ஆணையிட்டுள்ளது.

டெப்போ கேன்டீன்கள் பதிவு சான்று பெறாத விவகாரம்: மாநகர போக்குவரத்து கழக எம்டி மீது நடவடிக்கை எடுக்க முடியுமா?

சென்னை: கேன்டீன்கள் பதிவு சான்று பெறாமல் இயங்கி வரும் விவகாரத்தில் எம்டிசி மேலாண் இயக்குனர் மீது நடவடிக்கை எடுக்காதது ஏன் என்று உணவு பாதுகாப்பு அதிகாரிகள் பதில் அளித்துள்ளனர். 
சென்னை மாநகர போக்குவரத்துக் கழகத்தில் டிரைவர்கள் 9756 பேர், கன்டக்டர்கள் 10,172 பேர், தொழில்நுட்ப ஊழியர்கள் 2885 பேர் என மொத்தம் 24 ஆயிரத்துக்கும் மேற்பட்ட ஊழியர்கள் பணிபுரிகின்றனர். சென்னை, காஞ்சிபுரம் மற்றும் திருவள்ளூரில் மொத்தம் 35 போக்குவரத்து பணிமனைகள் உள்ளன.இங்கு கேன்டீன் வைத்து ஊழியர்களுக்கு நிர்வாகம் மூன்று வேளை உணவு வழங்குகிறது. ஆளுங்கட்சி தொழிற்சங்கத்தை சேர்ந்தவர்கள் ஒப்பந்த அடிப்படையில் கேன்டீன் நடத்தி வருகின்றனர். இங்கு, தரமில்லாத உணவு வழங்கப்படுவதாக புகார் எழுந்தது. நிர்வாகத்திடம் ஊழியர்கள் பலமுறை புகார் அளித்தனர். ஆனால் நடவடிக்கை இல்லை. 
இதையடுத்து, உணவு பாதுகாப்பு அதிகாரிகளிடம் புகார் அளித்தனர். அதன்பேரில், உணவு பாதுகாப்பு அதிகாரிகள் 33 கேன்டீன்களிலும் அதிரடியாக சோதனை நடத்தினர். ஆய்வுக்கு பின், கேன்டீன்கள் உரிமம் மற்றும் பதிவு சான்றிதழ் வாங்காமல் இயங்கி வந்தது தெரியவந்தது. பல கேன்டீன்களில் சமையலறை சுகாதாரமின்றி காணப்பட்டது. உடனே, எம்டிசி மேலாண் இயக்குனர் கிருஷ்ணமூர்த்திக்கு உணவு பாதுகாப்பு அதிகாரிகள் கடிதம் அனுப்பி குறையை நிவர்த்தி செய்யுமாறு உத்தரவிட்டனர்.இதற்கிடையில், விதிமீறி ஒப்பந்தம் வழங்கியதற்காக மேலாண் இயக்குனர் மீது உணவு பாதுகாப்புத்துறை சட்டப்படி நடவடிக்கை எடுக்க ஊழியர்கள் ஆணையருக்கு நோட்டீஸ் அனுப்பினர். ஆனால் 3 மாதமாகியும் அதன் மீது ஆணையர் நடவடிக்கை எடுக்கவில்லை. 
இதையடுத்து, தங்கள் நோட்டீஸ் மீது ஆணையர் எடுத்த நடவடிக்கை என்ன என்பது குறித்து தகவல் அறியும் உரிமைச் சட்டத்தில் ஊழியர்கள் மனு அளித்தனர். அந்த மனுவுக்கு தற்போது பதில் அளிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது.அதில், மேலாண் இயக்குனர் மீது நடவடிக்கை எடுக்க அதிகாரம் இல்லை என்று தெரிவித்திருந்தனர். இதை கேள்விப்பட்டு ஊழியர்கள் அதிர்ச்சி அடைந்துள்ளனர். ஆய்வு செய்வது மட்டும் தான் உணவுப்பாதுகாப்புத் துறையின் வேலையா? என அவர்கள் கேள்வி எழுப்பியுள்ளனர்.இதுகுறித்து, நேதாஜி தொழிற்சங்க நிர்வாகி அன்பழகன் கூறியதாவது:உணவு பாதுகாப்பு சட்டம் 2006ன் படி, உரிமம் மற்றும் பதிவு சான்று இல்லை என்றால் ரூ.5 லட்சம் அபராதம் மற்றும் 6 மாதம் சிறை தண்டனை வழங்க வேண்டும். எம்டிசி கேன்டீன்களில் தவறு நடந்தது ஆதாரத்துடன் கண்டுபிடிக்கப்பட்டது. அதன்பேரில் தான் மேலாண் இயக்குனருக்கு தண்டனை வழங்குமாறு உணவு பாதுகாப்பு ஆணையருக்கு நோட்டீஸ் அனுப்பினோம். சட்டப்படி, தவறுக்கு காரணமாக இருந்த மேலாண் இயக்குனருக்கு நீதிமன்றம் மூலம் தண்டனை பெற்றுத்தர ஆணையர் நடவடிக்கை எடுத்திருக்க வேண்டும். ஆனால் அவர் நாங்கள் அனுப்பிய நோட்டீசை, ஆய்வு செய்த அதிகாரிகளுக்கு அனுப்பி தட்டி கழித்துவிட்டார். ஆர்டிஐ மூலம் கேட்டால், தண்டனை பெற்று கொடுக்க அதிகாரம் இல்லை என பதில் அளித்துள்ளார். வெறும் ஆய்வு மட்டும் நடத்துவதால் தவறை திருத்திவிட முடியுமா? எனவே, ஊழியர்களின் உயிருடன் விளையாடிய அதிகாரிகள் மீது நடவடிக்கை எடுக்க ஆணையர் உடனே ஆவணம் செய்ய வேண்டும் என்றார். எம்டிசி அதிகாரியிடம் கேட்டபோது, ‘’உணவு பாதுகாப்பு அதிகாரிகள் உத்தரவை ஏற்று கேன்டீன்களை ஆய்வு செய்தோம். அதில் குறைகளை நிவர்த்தி செய்துள்ளோம். அதனால் நடவடிக்கை தேவையில்லை’’ என்றார்.

CHENNAI

COIMBATORE

DHARMAPURI

KRISHNAGIRI

NAMAKKAL

SALEM

THIRUVARUR

தேநீர் கடைகளில் கலப்பட டீத்தூள் பயன்படுத்தினால் நடவடிக்கை

திருத்துறைப்பூண்டி, ஆலத்தம்பாடி பகுதிகளில் தேநீர் கடைகளில் கலப்பட டீ தூள், காபி தூள் பயன்படுத்தப்படுகிறதா என திருத்துறைப்பூண்டி உணவு பாதுகாப்பு அலுவலர் விஜயகுமார் புதன்கிழமை ஆய்வு செய்தார். 
ஆய்வின் போது அவர் கூறியது: திருத்துறைப்பூண்டி பகுதியில் சுமார் 23 தேநீர் கடைகளில் கலப்பட டீத்தூள், காபி தூள் பயன்படுத்தப்படுகிறதா என ஆய்வு செய்யப்பட்டன. உணவு பதார்த்தங்கள் தரமான பொருள்களைக் கொண்டும், தரமான சமையல் எண்ணெய்யை பயன்படுத்தியும் செய்யப்படுகிறதா என ஆய்வு செய்யப்பட்டன. இதில் 2 கடைகளுக்கு எச்சரிக்கை நோட்டீஸ் வழங்கப்பட்டது. கடைகளில் எடுக்கப்பட்ட மாதிரிகள் ஆய்வுக்கு அனுப்பப்படும். 
உணவு பதார்த்தங்களை மூடிய கண்ணாடி பெட்டிக்குள் வைத்து விற்பனை செய்ய வேண்டும். கடை அருகே கழிவு நீர் தேங்கக் கூடாது. நாள்தோறும் பினாயில் கொண்டு கடைகளை கழுவ வேண்டும் என கடைகாரர்களுக்கு அறிவுறுத்தப்பட்டுள்ளது என்றார்.  
ஆய்வின் போது, நன்னிலம் உணவு பாதுகாப்பு அலுவலர் யோகநாதன் உடனிருந்தார்.

VELLORE

VIRUDHUNAGAR

Consumer alert – Safal – Drumstick having dissolved chemicals

Food Business Operator : Safal

Place : Princeton State , DLF Phase V , Gurgaon

Product : Drumstick

Issue : Tasted sour and chemical flavour

Consumer complaints as posted by Nischal Wanjarkhedkar on Nov 14 th in India Consumer Complaints Forum with photo

Bought drum sticks from safal store in princeton estate, dlf phase v, gurgaon (Paytm account safal 82000) on 10/11/2017. It was prepared for lunch on 13/11/2017 and it tested sour with chemicals flavor and unfortunately bite was taken by everyone including children’s within family. Don’t know how harmful it is? Its responsibility of safal to check quality of source, i have kept one drum stuck and can be tested for it.

vegetables drumstick having dissolved chemicals
PESPRO Comments 
The specimen may be given to your are Designated Officer (Food Safety) for testing and regulatory action

FSSAI introducing third party food safety audit of food business operators

FSSAI is introducing Third party food safety audit of the food business operators through FSSAI Recognized Auditing Agencies in accordance with the Draft Food Safety and Standards (Food Safety Auditing) Regulations, 2017. The draft regulation covers the following sections:

  • Procedure for recognition of Auditing Agencies/ Auditors by constituting an Evaluation Committee on third party audit.
  • Procedure for Renewal/ Cancellation/Suspension of recognition
  • Role of Evaluation Committee for Third Party Auditing
  • Audit Process
  • Audit Reporting
  • Audit Monitoring System
  • Duties of Auditors

A robust framework for audit monitoring and governance of the same is also being developed alongside. As per the above draft regulation, select Food Categories prescribed by the Food Authority, will be subject to mandatory Food Safety Auditing. Food Businesses falling under such category would be required to get their businesses timely audited by recognized Auditing Agencies on their own according to the audit frequency prescribed by the Food Authority. Food businesses which are not subject to mandatory Food Safety auditing can also voluntarily opt for the same for their businesses.

Food Businesses having undergone satisfactory audits will be subjected to less frequent audits by Central or State licensing authorities. Hence, Third party Audits will reduce the burden on the regulatory Food Safety Audits conducted by Central or State Licensing Authorities while at the same time assuring safe food to the consumers.

FSSAI has initiated the process of provisional recognition of auditing agencies to create a pool of auditing agencies that could be used for audit of some food businesses as decided by FSSAI. The experience and feedback obtained would be used while finalizing the regulations in this regard.

Misleading advertisement -Product : Kelloggs Special K – ASCI upholds complaint against Kelloggs India Pvt Ltd.

Kelloggs India Pvt. Ltd. (Kelloggs Special K):

Image result for kelloggs special k

Representational

The advertisement’s claim, “It is high in protein and fibre” is false as it is not applicable for the serving size of the product and, in the context of a product positioned for weight management, it is misleading by ambiguity.

Also the claim, “Foods high in protein and fibre make you feel full and keep hunger pangs away” – Since this claim is linked to the claim of the product being high in protein and fibre, it is also misleading due to the reasons mentioned above.

Furthermore, the claim was also inadequately substantiated for the specific product being advertised. The claim, “To manage weight eat a breakfast like Kellogg’s Special K”, was considered to be misleading by ambiguity and implication. The visual of the celebrity when seen in conjunction with the claims is likely to mislead consumers regarding the product efficacy as the advertiser was not able to submit any evidence that the celebrity is in agreement with the claims being made in the advertisement in general, and where she claims this to be her experience in particular. This contravenes the Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising.

Also, the disclaimers in the advertisement were not legible. The heights of the picture area was 386 lines for SD and 1090 for HD. The lowercase elements were measured to be of height of about 7-8 pixels or less for SD and 18-19 pixels for HD formats. The SD clip (provided by the complainant) does not comply whereas the HD clip (provided by the advertiser) does comply with the ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers Clauses (VII) (i) (1) of ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers (“For standard definition images, the height of the text lower case elements shall be not less than 12 pixels (12 pixels lines) in a 576 line raster.”) for SD version of the advertisement. 

Imports of GM edible oil sans proper labelling spark fresh controversy

With the debate over genetically-modified (GM) crops raging in recent times with regard to the commercialisation of GM mustard, questions were also raised about the quality and origin of GM mustard oil, an imported edible oil.

India, the largest importer of edible oil, has reportedly imported upto 15 million tonne of GM crops or GM crop-based edible oil.

The story of GM crops in India has always been on par with bio-safety norms, hasty approvals, labelling concerns, the lack of monitoring abilities and a general apathy towards the hazards of contamination.

Although such imports are illegal, the importers manage to import due to the lack of labelling norms for such products. Although the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, has, under Section 22, mentioned that GM products cannot be sold without its approval, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) still has to draft labelling norms for these products. 

According to a senior official with the country’s apex food regulator, work on the labelling norms is underway, and soon it would put out a draft for the same.

“And the importers usually give reasoning that the traceability of the GM protein is not in the refined oil, therefore it is as good as non-GM crop-based edible oil,” he added.

However, to get the GM mustard crop commercialised has been a tough task. If it gets approved, it will become India’s first officially-approved GM food crop. Even though the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) has given its nod, the union government has put the decision on hold.

Despite the ban on GM crops, various cases have been reported between 2005 and now wherein illegally-produced GM crops are being sold to farmers in the country, and of illegal imports, which had been brought to light by FSSAI, which demanded either a ban or a clear indication on the labels of GM crops. Based on the regulator’s submissions, the court accepted that imports of GM foods continue to be banned.

Experts working on the GM crops have supported the production of the same by throwing light on the benefit they have in boosting food production to meet the demands of the growing population. Where India is yet to finalise its labelling norms, over 60 countries, including members of the European Union (EU), China and Australia, have strict regulations regarding the labelling of products that either contain or are made from GM crops.

There has been constant debates in India and around the world about whether GM crops are safe for human consumption. A few fear biodiversity getting threatened due to the mixing of genetic material of GM crops with that of non-GM crops. Thus, in the midst of this debate, the government has been importing processed soybean and Canola oil made from GM crops. In April 2017, GEAC took a note of the void in the import scenario and held meetings with FSSAI.

The import of GM foods needs approval under laws (i e clearances from the ministry of environment, forest and climate change under the Environment Protection Act, 1986, which assess the impact of GM products on biodiversity, and the health and family welfare ministry, which endorse that  GM products are safe for human consumption under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006).

It is pertinent to note here that for years, the imports of GM crops have been taking place without the clearance from the food safety authorities.

கொசு உற்பத்திக்காக உணவகங்கள் அபராதம் – ஆட்சியர் நடவடிக்கை