FSSAI was established by former Union Health Minister Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss on 5th September 2018 under the “Food Safety and Standard Act 2006”. FSSAI head office is in Delhi. It consists of one chairperson and 22 members. FSSAI comes under the “Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Government” of India. The main objective of FSSAI is to lay down science-based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale, and import. It ensures the availability of food for human consumption.
It aims to establish a single reference point for all matters relating to food safety and standards. Food refers to any substance consumed to provide nutritional support to the body. In June 2018, United Nations General Assembly declared June 7 as “World Food Safety Day“.
Five key measures for safer food laid by WHO are as under:
- Keep clean
- Separate RAW and cooked food
- Cook thoroughly
- Keep food at a safe temperature
- Use safe water and raw materials
How did the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India come into existence?
In 1916 an idea came into existence. The government for the first time considered a legislative to combat Food Adulteration. In 1954 prevention of Food Adulteration Act (PFA) came into existence. After that, a plethora of acts came into existence. The joint Parliamentary Committee later suggested the consolidation of several fragments. As a result, in 2005 food standard safety bill was passed. A total of 9 laws constitute the food standard safety bill. FSSAI Act was enacted in 2006.
Section 4 of the FSSAI Act established the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) in 2008. A “Statutory Body” is a legal entity created as per an act. An “extra-constitutional body” is a legal entity that is not based on an act.
Structure and framework of FSSAI
The government of India appoints the chairperson of FSSAI. Miss Rita Teotia is currently the chairperson of FSSAI. The chairperson has a tenure of 3 years. The food authority consisting of 22 members assists the Chairperson. The central government appoints the Food authority members. The government of India appoints the CEO of FSSAI. Mr. Arun Singhal is the CEO of FSSAI. Three committees i.e. scientific panel, scientific committee, and Central advisory assist the CEO of FSSAI. The CEO is a member secretary of the Food Authority.
FSSAI has the right to establish as many scientific panels as required. In 2021 there are a total of 21 Scientific Panels. As per section 14 of the FSSAI Act, the Scientific Committee consists of scientific experts. They are responsible for providing a scientific opinion to the Food Authorities. Central Advisory Committee ensures the cooperation between authority and enforcement agencies. CEO of Food Authority is the ex-officio chairperson of the Central Advisory Committee.
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