FSSAI full form is the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. It is an autonomous statutory body that maintains the food safety and standards in India. FSSAI is administered by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. The Body is functional as per the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
Key points like the functions of FSSAI, the composition of the body, challenges, and initiatives have all been discussed further below in this article. Candidates preparing for the upcoming IAS Exam must know all these features of the organisation for the GS II and III papers of UPSC.
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What is FSSAI?
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) was set up in 2008 for the proper monitoring of food hygiene and quality in India. It was functional from 2011 and ever since has been responsible for managing food safety in our country.
The FSSAI has its headquarters at New Delhi. The authority also has 6 regional offices located in Delhi, Guwahati, Mumbai, Kolkata, Cochin, and Chennai.
The organisation has been set up as per the FSS Act 2006, until which different acts and laws were being administered under the various ministries of Government.
|FSSAI – Food Safety and Standards Authority of India – Key Points|
|Establishment Year||5th August 2011|
|Formed under the Act||Food Safety & Standards Act 2006|
|Administered under||Ministry of Health & Family Welfare|
What is the FSSAI Act 2006?
The Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 states:
“An Act to consolidate the laws relating to food and to establish the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India for laying down science-based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import, to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.”
Until this law was passed, the following acts were being followed to manage the food security in the country:
- Vegetable Oil Products (Control) Order, 1947
- Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954
- Fruit Products Order, 1955
- Meat Food Products Order, 1973
A few other acts were also implemented. But the Government passed the FSS Act in 2006, 2hich was an amalgamation of all the terms and regulations mentioned in the above acts combined together.
Civil Service Exam aspirants can learn more about the National Food Security Act, 2013 at the given link.
To know more about Food Security in India, candidates can visit the linked article.
Composition of FSSAI
If we talk about the composition of board members leading the organisation from the front, the structure of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India comprises:
- Chairman – Appointed by the Central Government
- 22 other members, of which one-third must be women
Apart from this, a strong team of scientists and researchers for the testing of food quality. Separate committees and panels are also formed with experts from scientific backgrounds.
To know more about the other statutory bodies in India, candidates can refer to the following links:
|NITI Aayog||National Commission for Women|
|Unique Identification Authority Of India (UIDAI)||Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)|
|Central Vigilance Commission (CVC)||Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)|
Functions of FSSAI
Following functions are performed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India:
- Setting Rules and Guidelines – FSSAI sets up rules and guidelines which need to be followed by all food manufacturing companies, keeping into consideration hygiene and food safety
- Granting License – To pursue any food related business, the owner needs to get a certificate and license with the permission of FSSAI
- Test the Standard of Food – the standard and quality of food manufactured by all companies registered under FSSAI, is done by the organisation themselves
- Regular Audits – Proper inspection is done for food-producing and manufacturing companies to ensure the standards are at par with the guidelines
- Spreading Food Safety Awareness – It is the responsibility of FSSAI to spread awareness and inform the citizens about the importance of safe and hygienic food consumption
- Maintain Records and Data – FSSAI also has the responsibility to maintain proper records and data of all the registered organisations. Any violation of rules prescribed by FSSAI can lead to the termination of the license
- Keeping the Government Updated – Any food safety-related threat must be informed to the Government authorities for further action. Also, assist them in framing food standard policies
Important Initiatives by FSSAI
Many important initiatives have also been taken by FSSAI keeping in mind food safety and standards. Following are few of these important initiatives:
- Eat Right India – The aim is not just to provide food to one and all, but to provide quality food to everyone. With this initiative, FSSAI intends to make good quality food accessible to every citizen of the country
- Clean Street Food – This involves training the street food vendors and making them aware of the violations as per the FSS Act 2006. This will also help in the social and economic upliftment of street food vendors
- Diet4Life – This is another initiative taken by FSSAI, to spread awareness about metabolic disorders.
- Save Food, Share Food, Share Joy – Encouraging people to avoid food wastage and promote food donation. Through this, FSSAI intends to connect food-collecting agencies with the food-producing companies and share the food with the ones in need
Apart from this, the first-ever World Food Safety Day was celebrated on June 6, 2019, by FSSAI, acknowledging the contribution of states, food businesses, and individuals in maintaining food safety.
Challenges for FSSAI
There are certain challenges which are to be overcome by FSSAI:
- Proper laboratories for testing the quality of food need to be organised by the Organisation
- Arranging qualified manpower to test and approve the standards of food being manufactured
- Re-evaluating the regulations and terms as per international standards
- Gaining funds to get advanced technologies
- Ensuring proper licensing of every food manufacturing individual or business
Once the Government of India and FSSAI overcome these shortcomings, the organisation is capable of regulating and maintaining the food safety standards in all parts of the country.
Important Question On FSSAI
Q1. Who is the current Chairperson of FSSAI?
Ans. Rita Teaotia is the current Chairperson for FSSAI.
Q2. Who is the CEO (Chief executive Officer) of FSSAI?
Ans. Shri Arun Singhal is the current Chief Executive Officer for FSSAI.
Q3. Regulator FSSAI has joined hands with which organisation to check misleading ads in the foods and beverages sector?
Ans. FSSAI has partnered ASCI- Advertising Standards Council Of India to check misleading ads in the food and beverages sector. The ASCI is a self-regulatory organization for the advertising industry. ASCI seeks to ensure that advertisements conform to its Code for Self-Regulation, which requires advertisements to be legal, decent, honest and truthful and not hazardous or harmful while observing fairness in competition.
Q4. What does FSSAI do?
Ans. The mandate assigned to the Food Authority is (i) laying down science-based standards for articles of food (ii) to regulate the manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import of food (iii) to facilitate food safety.
Q5. What are the priorities of FSSAI?
Ans. The priorities of the FSSAI is laying down science-based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import, to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human
Q6. What is the tenure of members of the Food Authority?
Ans. The Chairperson and the members other than ex officio members of the Food Authority can hold office for a term of three years and eligible for reappointment for a further period of three years subject to a maximum age of 65 years for Chairperson and 62 years for the member.
To know more about the Challenges in Achieving Food Security in India, candidates can visit the linked article.
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