Parliamentary Panel Asks FSSAI to Push States, UTs to Take Food Safety Seriously
A parliamentary panel has actually asked food regulator FSSAI to nudge states/UTs for taking corruption and dishonest practices in food safety matter seriously as cases of adulteration in food items are rising. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Well-being on Saturday submitted its action taken report related to working of the Food Security and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
The panel took note of different steps taken by the FSSAI to prevent dishonest practices and hoped that they would be able to contain corrupt practices to some level. “However considering that cases of adulteration in food items are on the rise, the Committee feels that there is a requirement to require some rigid steps in this regard. The committee, therefore, restates its suggestions and advises upon FSSAI to push the States/UTs to take corruption in food security matters seriously,” the report said.
The panel also raised apprehension about the food security tracking mechanism. “Thinking about the extent of food adulteration common now-a-days in the nation, the variety of cancelled licences with state and central is really low and thus really raises apprehension over food security monitoring system,” the committee said.
The panel said the proposed modifications to Area 42( 3) of Food Safety and Standards Act be accelerated so that perishable food items with a short period of life are evaluated before getting spoiled. The Committee took into cognizance the efforts being made like routine security, monitoring, assessment of food properties, sampling of foodstuff, routine training of officers concerned, upgradation of food laboratories etc. However, the panel asked the FSSAI to take pro-active and concerted efforts to regularly prompt the States/UTs for gearing their machinery to develop a system which has absolutely no tolerance towards infraction of any food safety norms by FBOs.
” Timely and proper punishment would absolutely prove to be a deterrent for the lawbreakers of food security laws and this might be attained only by increasing the conviction rate. The committee, for that reason, reiterates that FSSAI ought to use up the issue of low conviction rate with the Ministry of Law & Justice to find an option to the problem as early as possible,” the report stated. The panel mentioned that few policies were yet to be notified.
” The Committee reveals its deep distress over the indifferent method of FSSAI and recommends to alert the remaining notification at the earliest,” the report stated. The panel kept in mind that the Appellate Tribunal has actually been constituted in 30 States/UTs. It asked the ministry to speed up the procedure of establishing the appellate tribunal in the staying states so that the litigation procedure can be fasted lane.
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