CHENNAI: About 30% of those engaged in the food industry were unware of the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA) 2006 that came into force in August 2011. The Act lays down laws governing the manufacture, storage, distribution and sale of food items to make them safe and wholesome for consumption.
This startling fact was thrown up by a study conducted among 700 people last year by the Confederation of Indian Food Trade and Industry (CIFTI) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). There is a need to spread awareness about the FSSA, experts at a conference on food safety standards conducted by the Confederation of Indian Industry here on Wednesday said.
“The industry is still not confident about the law and there is a need to educate the government and the consumers,” said B Thiagarajan, chairman, Agriculture and Food Processing Task Force, CII. The FSSA replaces various central Acts and target risks in food safety and quality. The study also found that 75% of the respondents who knew about the Act felt there was a need for harmonization of food regulations in the country with internationally accepted standards. “Food safety is a major concern, especially when we are exporting food,” said Jagan Mohan G, business head at Galla Foods. “Sometimes, processed food may be saved for up to three to four years. We need to make sure that it is safe for consumers,” he said.
Further, 10% of the respondents who knew about the Act thought that it did not serve the purpose of a Unified food law because duplicate mandatory licences under the Bureau of Indian Standards, Agricultural Marketing, Packaged community rules and Genetic Engineering Approval Committee still needed to be taken.
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