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Centre likely to help companies deal with food safety soon

Tomojit Basu New Delhi | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on July 08, 2015

A taskforce created by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries will help companies tackle issues related to food safety standards

Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Minister for Food Processing Industries (file photo)

Consumer safety, industry progress have to move in tandem: minister

As Nestle continues to pulp ₹320 crore worth of Maggi noodles, after samples were found to contain high levels of lead and monosodium glutamate, a “fear psychosis” that’s gripped the $250-billion Indian food industry is likely to get some help from the Centre.

Taskforce set up

A taskforce, created by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MOFPI), will henceforth help companies tackle issues raised by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), the country’s apex food regulator, which is under the Health Ministry.

“We have set up a taskforce with the Prime Minister’s assent to bring the industry’s issues to the table when dealing with the FSSAI. Since the agency is under a different Ministry, this step was taken to ensure better coordination,” said Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union Minister for Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), on the sidelines of a CII event here.

Objective

The taskforce has been created chiefly to iron out issues arising with product approvals and understanding guidelines.

It is currently pending notification and is likely to be constituted by officials from the MOFPI, Health Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office.

“There is no doubt that FSSAI’s systems need to be streamlined further, it is blocking innovation in the industry at present. A lot needs to be done with the recent roadblocks causing a fear psychosis in the industry,” said Badal. The Minister added that she agreed with the idea that companies had to be made more responsible for the food products they manufactured but consumer safety and industry progress had to move forward together.

“The Centre will ensure that there’s an environment where industry can progress. There’s no doubt that the country’s health and quality of food being made available is extremely important. But industry growth and consumer safety have to work together,” she said.

Published on July 08, 2015
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