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Food Adulteration

Food Adulteration in India

The Indian food industry in the recent times has emerged as a high profit sector. The food industry is one of the largest industries in India and is placed at rank fifth in terms of production, consumption, export and expected growth.  

Food laws are related to the production, manufacturing and selling of a food product. It begins from the standards for production and continues till the packaging or labeling of a product. Food laws have also been formulated with the object to prevent food adulteration and to ensure the safety and health of an individual consuming a particular product. The Food Laws have been formulated with a view to check the rampant cases of food adulteration in India.

Section 272 and Section 273 of the Indian penal code, 1860 deal with the offence of food adulteration and drink intended for sale. It entails punishment of six months imprisonment or payment of INR 1000 as fine, in cases where a person adulterates any article of food or drink, so as to make such article noxious as food or drink, intends to sell such article as food or drink, or knowing it to be likely that the same will be sold as food or drink.

Food Adulteration Types- India

Food Adulteration means the process of degrading quality of food by addition or subtraction of any substance from food. Food Adulteration is further categorized into:

  1. Intentional adulteration
  2. Unintentional or Incidental adulteration

Intentional adulteration– Under this, adulterants are purposely or deliberately added with ulterior motives like increase in profit.

Unintentional or Incidental adulteration– Under this, adulterants are added to food products due negligence or ignorance or by way of poor facilities and unhygienic practices.

FSSAI: The National Food Regulator

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has been established under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (FSS) which consolidates various Acts & Orders like:

  • Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954
  • Fruit Products Order, 1955
  • Meat Food Products Order, 1973
  • Vegetable Oil products (Control) Order, 1947
  • Edible Oils Packaging (Regulation) Order 1988
  • Solvent Extracted Oil, De- oiled Meal and Edible flour (Control) Order, 1967
  • Milk and Milk Products Order, 1992

The aforesaid Acts and Orders stand repealed after commencement of the FSS Act, 2006.

FSSAI has been created for laying down science based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption.

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