FSSAI invites comments on Draft Food Safety and Standards (Organic Foods) Regulations, 2017

In exercise of the powers conferred under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (“Act”), the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (“FSSAI”) has issued the Draft Food Safety and Standards (Organic Foods) Regulations, 2017 (“Draft Regulations”) on 19th June, 2017.

Pursuant to this, objections or suggestions are invited from various stakeholders.

Objections/suggestions, if any, can be submitted to Chief Executive Officer, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, Food and Drug Administration Bhawan, Kotla Road, New Delhi- 110002 or sent on email at regulation@fssai.gov.in within 30 days from the date of publication of the Draft Regulations, i.e. up to 19th July, 2017.

The Draft Regulations aim to regulate the manufacture, sale, distribution and import of organic foods in India. Therefore, the Draft Regulations is applicable to every person who manufactures, packs, sells, offers for sale, markets or otherwise distributes or imports any organic foods.

The Draft Regulations defines organic food as food products that have been produced in accordance with specified standards for organic production.

The organic agriculture is defined as a system of farm design and management to create an eco system of agriculture production without the use of synthetic external inputs such as chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides and synthetic hormones or Genetically Modified Organisms.

The key highlights of the Draft Regulations:

  1. The Draft Regulations propose that any food which is intended to be offered for sale as organic food must comply with the provisions of any of the following:
  • National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP);
  • Participatory Guarantee System for India (PGS-India);
  • Any other system or standards as may be notified by the FSSAI from time to time.
  1. It is proposed that the organic food which is marketed through direct sales by the original producer/producer organisation to the end consumer would be exempted from the need of verification of compliance. However, this exemption will not apply to processed organic food products.
  1. All organic foods must comply with the packaging and labelling requirements specified under the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011.
  1. It is proposed that organic food imports made under bilateral/multilateral agreements would not be required to be re-certified on import to India.

Source: E-gazette.

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