Food safety standards should not be arbitrary: Minister

Expressing concerns over imported food items getting stuck in customs, food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Monday said safety standards should not be arbitrary and detrimental to the industry, says a PTI report.
Food safety standards should not be arbitrary: Minister
Expressing concerns over imported food items getting stuck in customs, food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Monday said safety standards should not be arbitrary and detrimental to the industry, says a PTI report.
 
Huge consignments carrying food processing ingredients are lying at ports due to the new labelling norms of the Food Safety Standards Authority of India’s (FSSAI). However, the matter has been taken up with the PMO and the Health Ministry, she told reporters while briefing her ministry’s 100-days initiatives.
 
‘Ingredients imported by the processing industry are lying at the customs as there are certain ingredients on which industry is having issues with FSSAI. It has been taken up with Health Ministry and a solution should be found very soon. The system needs to be very transparent,’ Badal said.
 
Badal said the food processing sector should be provided a level-playing field.
 
‘Systems should not be arbitrary. While maintaining the food safety standards, it should also encourage the industry. So, if industry is having some issues that need to be addressed,’ Badal said.
 
The minister said she has met health minister Harsh Vardhan and discussed the industry’s issues related to FSSAI.
 
The matter has also been brought under the notice of Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), she added.
Badal said there is no proposal to bring FSSAI under the Food Processing Ministry from the purview of Health Ministry.
 
FSSAI has been established under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 which consolidates various acts and orders that have hitherto handled food related issues in various ministries and departments.
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