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Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006

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Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 is an integrated food law that lays down standards and guidelines for consumer safety, protection of consumer health and regulation of the food sector .It seeks to harmonise Indian standards with the international standards like CODEX [1] and facilitates international trade in food articles. The Act lays down general provisions for food additives and processing of articles as well.

Food Safety and Standards Act received the assent of the President on 23rd August, 2006 and came into effect on 5th August, 2011. It is a comprehensive legislation for the sector and subsumes the then existing acts and standards like Prevention of Food Adulteration Act(PFA) of 1954 ,Fruit Products Order of 1955, Meat Food Products Order of 1973, Vegetable Oil Products (Control) Order of 1947, Edible Oils Packaging (Regulation)Order of 1988, Solvent Extracted Oil, De- Oiled Meal and Edible Flour (Control) Order of 1967, Milk and Milk Products Order of 1992 and also any order issued under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 relating to food . [2]

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has been created under the Act. FSSAI regulates the food sector by laying down guidelines and standards to be followed by food businesses. It also specifies procedures for accreditation of laboratories and provides advice to central and state government in matters relating to food safety. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is responsible for implementation of the Act. The Act deals with administrative mechanism at the state level. It also provides for setting up of Food Safety Appellate tribunal for adjudication and trails under food standard offence.

The law is significant in ensuring quality food to the consumer. It protects consumer interest by prohibiting misleading advertisement and penalising adulteration. In other words, the Act seeks to enhance quality of food related information to consumers and also by setting standards which, when effectively enforced by Commissioners in the States would result in increased consumer welfare.

The law also addresses contemporary challenges facing the sector like provisions related to Genetically Modified (GM) crops, functional food, international trade in food items etc. Besides, it is a single reference point for food related matters.




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