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Duties and Responsibility of Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI)

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The role of National Food Authority of India is to ensure the national food security/safety and to stabilize the supply/demand and the prices of the food products both in the farm and the consumer levels. Its Mission includes ensuring a reasonable rate of return for food products, in order to provide an adequate supply and an affordable price, also to ensure a healthy competition for Indian food products in the global market. Its vision includes achieving a nationwide sustainable mechanism for ensuring the stabilization of the prices as per supply and demand, while focus on increasing the income of Indian farmers. Below we will discuss about the duties and responsibilities of the National Food Authority in detail.

The following are the duties and responsibilities of the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI):

To regulate and to monitor the manufacture, processing, distribution, sale and the import of food so as to ensure a safe and wholesome food for consumption.

The FSSAI may by its regulations specify –

  1. The standards and the guidelines that are in relative to the articles of food and specifying an appropriate system for implementing of the various standards that are notified under this Act;
  2. The safe limits for the use of food additives, processing aids,heavy metals, mycotoxins,pesticide residues, crop contaminants, residues of veterinary drugs, antibiotics and pharmacologically active substances and irradiation of food;
  3. The procedure and the rules for the accreditation of laboratories and notification of the accredited laboratories;
  4. The method of sampling, analysis and the flow of information among the enforcement authorities;
  5. To conduct a survey of execution and the administration of this Act in the country;
  6. The procedure and the guidelines for the accreditation of the certification bodies that are engaged in certification of the food safety management systems for food businesses;
  7. The mechanism and the implementation of quality control in relation to any of the article of the food imported into India;
  8. The food labeling standards including claims on health, nutrition value, special dietary uses and the food category systems for the foods;
  9. The manner in which and the procedure that is subject to which the risk analysis, risk assessment, risk communication and the risk management shall be undertaken.

The Food License Authority shall also provides –

  1. Scientific guidanceas well as technical support to the Central Government and the State Governments in the matters of framing the policy/procedures and the rules in areas which have a direct or indirect bearing on the food safety and nutrition;
  2. To search, collect, collate, analyze and summarize the relevant scientific and technical data mostly relating to –
    1. The food consumption and the experience of the individuals to risks related to the consumption of food;
    2. The pollutants in food;
    3. The residues of various pollutants;
    4. The incidence and the occurrence of biological risk;
    5. identification of the emerging risks; and
    6. the introduction of a rapid alert system;
  3. To promote, manage and to issue the guidelines for the development of the risk assessment methodologies and to monitor, conduct and forward the communications on the health and the nutritional risks of food to the Central Government, State Governments, and Commissioners of Food Safety;
  4. To deliver scientific and technical advice andsupport to the Central Government and the State Governments in implementation of the crisis management procedures with respect to the food safety and also to draw up anover-all plan for crisis management and to work in close co-operation with the crisis unit that is set up by the Central Government in this regard;
  5. To establish a network of organizations with the objective to facilitate a scientific co-operation framework by the co-ordination of the activities, the exchange of info, the development and the implementation of joint projects, the exchange of expertise and the best practices in the fields of the Food Authority’s responsibility;
  6. To provide scientific and technical assistance to the Central Government and the State Governments for improving the co-operation with the international organizations;
  7. To take all such steps in order to make sure that the public, consumers, interested parties and all the levels of panchayats receive rapid, reliable, objective and comprehensive information through appropriate methods and channel;
  8. To offer, whether within or outside their area, training programs in food safety and the standards for the persons who are to intend to become involved in the food businesses, whether as food business operators or employees or otherwise;

The Food License Authority shall make it public without any undue delay –

  1. the views of the Scientific Committee and the Scientific Panel immediately after its adoption;
  2. the annual announcementsor declarations of the interest made by the members of the Food License Authority, the Chief Executive Officer, the members of the Advisory Committee and the members of the Scientific Committee and the Scientific Panel, as well as the announcements or declarations of interest if any, which is made in relation to the items on the agendas of meetings;
  3. the outcomes of its scientific studies; and
  4. the annual report of its actions;
  5. The Food Authority might also from time to time give guidelines, on the matters relating to safety and the standards of food products, to the Commissioner of Food Safety, who shall be bound by such directions while working out his powers under this Act;
  6. The Food License Authority might or might not disclose the third parties’ confidential information that it receives for which the confidential action has been demanded and also has been agreed, except for the information which must be made public if the situations so need, in order to protect public health and safety.

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Author
Sanya Arora
Highly motivated and innovative Environment MS graduate, highly effective at developing creative content and writing persuasive legal briefs. Expertise in writing E-waste, recycling, EPR, legal compliances articles, blogs, press releases and whitepapers etc. Excellent command over English Language with natural flair for writing. Excellent analytical skills and structured thinking capability.