The Government plan to remove multiple certifications for food products and has approved various amendments to streamline food safety and standards regulations.
GS II- Governance, Facts for prelims
Dimensions of the Article:
- Streamlining food certification process
- About BIS
- FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India)
Streamlining food certification process:
- The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has approved various amendments to streamline food safety and standards regulations.
- The amendments aimed to do away with Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) or AGMARK certification for food products.
- Once the amendments are finalised, food businesses would not have to go to different authorities for mandatory certification with only FSSAI certification being made mandatory for food products.
- The Food Authority also approved a first-of-its-kind and comprehensive manual of methods of analysis for ensuring regulatory compliance of the food products.
- The Food Authority is also going to set standards for ‘Haleem’ as part of standards for meat products.
- Haleem is a dish made of meat, pulses, grains, and other ingredients, which currently don’t have any set standards.
- The Bureau of Indian Standards is the national Standards Body of India working under the aegis of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Government of India.
- It is established by the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986 which came into effect on 23 December 1986.
- The Minister in charge of the Ministry or Department having administrative control of the BIS is the ex-officio President of the BIS.
- The BIS Act, 1986 provides for the establishment of a Bureau for the harmonious development of the activities of standardization, marking and quality certification of goods and for connected matters.
- BIS has its Headquarters at New Delhi.
- The Vision of BIS is to be the leader in all matters concerning Standardization, Certification and Quality.
- BIS thereby plays a very important role in the economic development of the country.
- BIS also operates Certification Schemes that assure quality, safety and reliability to the users.
- The BIS Product Certification Scheme is one of the largest in the world .
- BIS gives utmost thrust for safeguarding and protecting consumer interest.
- BIS has well laid down mechanisms and procedures to address public grievances related to consumer complaints against BIS services and ISI marked products.
Statutory Framework of BIS
- The Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016, has been implemented since 12 October 2017.
- The highlights of the new BIS Act are as follows;-
- Allows multiple conformity assessment schemes in line with global practices.
- Enables the Government to authorize any agency apart from BIS to certify and enforce conformity to a standard.
- Enables the Government to include products under mandatory certification on grounds of health, safety, environment, national security and prevention of deceptive practices.
- Enables the Government to bring Hallmarking of precious metal articles under mandatory certification.
- Provides consumer protection measures like recall of non-conforming standard marked products, compensation to the consumer and more stringent penal provisions.
FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India):
- The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India is a legal entity established by the Food Safety and Standards Act of 2006.
- Establishing scientifically sound food standards
- To govern the production, storage, distribution, import, and sale of food.
- To improve food safety.
- Development of regulations to establish standards/guidelines for food articles.
- Establishing mechanisms/guidelines for accreditation of certification bodies involved in food safety management system certification.
- Establishing a national information network to ensure that the public receives reliable and objective information about food safety and other issues of concern.
- Help develop international technical standards for food, sanitary, and phytosanitary standards.
- The FSSAI is made up of a Chairperson and twenty-two members, one-third of whom must be women.
- The FSSAI Chairperson is appointed by the Central Government
- The Food Authority is assisted in setting standards by Scientific Committees and Panels, and in coordinating with enforcement agencies by the Central Advisory Committee.
- Ministry Concerned: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
At the state level:
- The FSSAI appoints state-level food safety authorities.
- The State Food Safety Commissioners are primarily responsible for enforcement.
-Source: All India Radio