Govt to relax approval system for food products: Badal

FSSAI has been in the spotlight after it imposed ban on Maggi in June this year, which was later lifted by the Bombay High Court.

hidden December 03, 2015 20:19:50 IST
Govt to relax approval system for food products: Badal

New Delhi: The government is taking steps to ease product approval system of food regulator FSSAI and working on a new mechanism where manufacturers may not need approval for their products if ingredients are cleared.

Addressing a Ficci conference, Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal today said this sector is facing several challenges like "inconsistent and restrictive regulatory environment" and poor post-harvest infrastructure.

Govt to relax approval system for food products Badal

Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal. AFP.

"The FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) comes under the health ministry. They are taking necessary steps to ensure this regulatory body eases the way the product approval is done," Badal told reporters on the sidelines.

Some 11,500 ingredients have been put on the website for the public opinion, she said, adding that the deadline for public comments is 13 December.

"So, instead of product approval now, there will be ingredients which are approved and you can go ahead with your innovation and production of the products. This is to harmonise with international standards," she stressed.

FSSAI has been in the spotlight after it imposed ban on Maggi in June this year, which was later lifted by the Bombay High Court.

In August this year, the Supreme Court junked FSSAI's advisory which asked manufacturers to get clearance for products even if ingredients were already approved or deemed safe.

SSAI has faced criticism from the industry for its product approval system.

Badal said the food processing sector is "today held back by several constraints" which is inconsistent and restrictive regulatory environment, poor post-harvest infrastructure leading to high levels of wastage and insufficient soft infrastructure like R&D capabilities and skilled manpower.

Stating that food quality and safety play a vital role in building consumers confidence towards processed food category, she emphasised on the need for regulators, policymakers, consumers, growers and industry to come together.

PTI

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