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Food Safety & Standards Act

Food Safety And Standards Act, 2006 – India

Food Safety and Standards Act (FSS), 2006 is an Act enacted to keep up with the changing needs requirements of time and to consolidate the laws relating to food and to establish the food safety and standards authority of India. The Act was needed to bring out a single statutory body for food laws, standards setting and enforcement so that there is one agency to monitor the compliance and no confusion arises in the minds of consumers, traders, manufacturers and investors which was due to multiplicity of food laws.

Few salient features of the Act are :

  • Packaging and labelling:

The act has encompassed  vast detailed sections regarding the regulations and prohibitons of packing and labelling a product.

  • Signage and customer notice:

Section 24 provides that, no person shall engage himself in any unfair trade practice for the purpose of sale, supply, use or consumption of articles to adopt any deceptive practice of making any statement whether orally or in writing which falsely represent the quality, quantity or standard of the food or makes false or deceptive representation or gives any guarantee which is not scientifically justified by them.

  • Licensing registration and health and sanitary permits:

This provision helped to ensure that all food operators are registered and are up to the standards of the act and therefore ensuring safe products for consumption by the consumer.

General Provisions as to Articles of Food under the FSS Act, 2006

Use of food additive or processing aid- no article of food shall contain any food additive or processing aid unless it is in accordance with the provisions of this Act and regulations made thereunder (Section 19 of FSS Act, 2006).

Contaminants, naturally occurring toxic substances, heavy metals, etc. – no article of food shall contain any contaminant, naturally occurring toxic substances or toxins or hormone or heavy metals in excess of such quantities as may be specified by regulations (section 20 of FSS act, 2006).

Pesticides, veterinary drugs residues, antibiotic residues and microbiological counts- (i) no article of food shall contain insecticides or pesticides residues, veterinary drugs residues, antibiotic residues, solvent residues, pharmacological active substances and micro-biological counts in excess of such tolerance limit as may be specified by regulations;

(ii) no insecticide shall be used directly on article of food except fumigants registered and approved under the insecticides act, 1968 (section 21 of the FSS act, 2006).

Genetically modified foods, organic foods, functional foods, proprietary foods, etc. – no person shall manufacture, distribute, sell or import any novel food, genetically modified articles of food, irradiated food, organic foods, foods for special dietary uses, functional foods, neutraceuticals, health supplements, proprietary foods and such other articles of food which the central government may notify in this behalf (section 22 of the FSS act, 2006).

Food related Laws repealed by virtue of FSS Act, 2006      

The following Acts/Orders mentioned in the Second Schedule of the Act have been repealed.

  • Prevention of food adulteration act,1954
  • Fruit products order,1955
  • Meat food products order,1973
  • Vegetable oil products (control) order,1947
  • Edible oil packaging (regulation) order,1998
  • Solvent extracted oil, de oiled meal, and edible flour(control) order, 1967
  • Milk and milk products order,1992
  • Any other order under essential commodities act, 1955 relating to food

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