Govt moves to revamp the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India

• Draft bill seeks to amend Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 to revamp Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) functioning by giving it more powers, enhancing penalties imposed for violations and simplifying processes.

Issues in FSSAI functioning:

• Licensing and registration framework was not being followed, shortage of food testing laboratories, shortage of manpower etc.

Key amendments:

• Jurisdiction of FSSAI extended to include animal feed. So far, FSSI had powers on food industry. Feed means any substance that satisfies nutritional requirements of animals.

• Enhanced penalties for violations, including manufacture and sale of unsafe food, adulteration of food causing death, carrying out business without licence and repeat offences.

• It would specify standards for food contact material, which would mean specifying standards for food packaging material.

• Proposal to appoint a chief executive officer at FSSAI as member secretary to oversee functions. So far, the role had not been defined.

• Changes in definition of proprietary food, which means an article of food for which standards have not been specified but is not unsafe.

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Mains Paper 2: National

Prelims level: Food Safety and Standards Authority of India

Mains level: Amendments on Food Safety and Standards Authority of India

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