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India set to adopt new food Act
Correspondent MOKOKCHUNG, OCT 28 (NPN):
Published on 29 Oct. 2010 12:23 AM IST
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Government of India is all set for transition of Prevention of Food Adulteration (PFA) Act 1954 to the new Food Safety and Standard (FSS) Act 2006 by January 2011.
Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI), the statutory agency at the central level, has finalized rules and regulations for the transition, bringing together a multitude of food laws currently prevalent in the country. The move was necessitated as India became a member of World Trade Organization and also due to advancement in the field of food technology. By doing this, India will be joining a group of advanced nations in adopting integrated food law in line with international best practices, adopting a scientific approach to development of food standards.
Addressing a press briefing at Mokokchung, Dr. J.T. Walling, member of central advisory committee (CAC) of FSSAI North East, who recently attended the 2nd CAC meeting at New Delhi October 22 last, said that since PFA Act 1954 would be replaced by the new Act early next year, all the states in the country should be prepared for the transition.
He explained that the objective of FSS Act 2006 was to consolidate laws relating to food, establish FSSAI to lay down science based standards for food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for consumption. “Science and hygiene combination is the spirit of the act,” Dr. Walling said, adding that the FSSAI could place necessary foundations for sound regulatory framework for food safety in the country and direct all states/union territories to follow the exercise of the new act.
The new law calls for a separate department of FSSA in all the states headed by food safety commissioner (FSC), under whom the whole exercise of FSSA will be proceeded, he said.
He also explained that CAC was a forum where all FSCs in the country were members along with representatives of different ministries, industry association, and consumer organizations etc.
On duties and responsibilities of being a CAC member, Dr. Walling said his duty was to tie with the state government, particularly the nodal department, and to give advice as and when necessary on the implementation of the Act.
In the context of Nagaland, Dr. Walling said the state has very little production and manufacturing unit besides few small business stake-holders, and that people consumed any item of food without knowing the safety and standards.
He said he had already suggested the CEO of CAC, V.N. Kaur to hold the 2nd zonal conference in Nagaland in order to create awareness among the people and to build interest among food business workers. Also observing that the state has only one food laboratory, which is located at Kohima, Dr. Walling said proposal to set up zonal food laboratory has been put up. He said one of the major factors for the transition was upgradation of food laboratories.
At present, all food labs in the country are Chemical Testing Labs, whereas according to FSSAI norms, they should be upgraded to Micro-Biological Testing Labs, Dr. Walling added.

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