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Archive for October 2012

India, New Delhi: FSSAI should tackle milk adulteration problem with urgency

Once again, the issue of milk adulteration has reared its head. In the course of an ongoing public interest litigation in the Supreme Court, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has given details of a survey it had done on adulteration of milk. As suspected, it found a large number of samples it had collected from all over the country to be sub-standard or adulterated.

Mixing of water with milk to dilute it has been going on for ages, as we know. This practice may be relatively harmless since adulteration with water does not make milk unsafe or unhealthy. However, it reduces its nutrition value and might affect those who solely depend on milk for supply of nutrients. If the water added is contaminated it could even be dangerous and cause water-borne diseases.

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India, New Delhi: BPL cardholders to get subsidised pulses through PDS; subsidy for import

A release by ministry of consumer affairs, food & public distribution issued on Friday, has stated that in view of mismatch between demand and supply of pulses and lower acreage under pulses in 2012-13, and delayed monsoon, the government has decided to provide Rs 20 as subsidy on the import of pulses to state governments.

The release adds, imported pulses will be supplied at reasonable prices to the BPL population through PDS. Designated import agencies will directly enter into contract with the states / UTs for supply of imported pulses.

Subsidy of Rs 20 per kg will be paid to designated importing agencies up to a maximum of the number of BPL cardholders in a particular state. The proposed scheme would make available pulses, a critical protein requirement to the vulnerable sections of society, BPL cardholder, at subsidised rates, informed the release.

State/UT governments will monitor and ensure that the distribution strategy enables the subsidy benefit to reach the targeted population. The scheme will be in operation till March 31, 2013, and a decision regarding its continuation will be taken early next year.

India, Mumbai: CAIT to PM: FDI in retail will be draconian to Indian small industries

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) drew the attention of prime minister Manmohan Singh towards the notification to allow 51 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail which, in their opinion, will give unusual and extraordinary benefits to global retailers and prove to be draconian to Indian small industries.

CAIT also expressed its anger over the role of such industry bodies as the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), who have failed to highlight the fact that corporates will be the only beneficiaries if FDI in retail is allowed in India.

A sizeable number of associations comprising small industries are members of the bodies, and it is imperative that they object to such unjustified clauses as 30 per cent procurement of goods from small industries. However, CAIT was dismayed that they did not even inform the small industry about these provisions, thereby diluting the fundamental of the clause.

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India: Industry divided over impact of new packaging norms on prices of foods

The new packaging norms – the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2012, under the Legal Metrology Act, 2011 – which will come into effect on November 1, may or may not spell additional financial burden for the food processing industry, but the packaging industry seems to be awaiting them as a means to foist competition.

Meanwhile, according to the ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution, the new norms have been formulated keeping the consumers’ interest in mind.

Some representatives of the packaging industry feel that the new packaging norms will encourage competition and also shoot the prices of many products and the burden of it will be passed on to consumers.

They added that the companies would no longer have the window available to tweak grammage, in case the raw material prices increase. This will mean they will have to increase product prices to avoid eroding margins.

While most companies are bracing up for the situation, Godrej Consumer Pvt Ltd (GCPL) and Dabur officials are saying that there will be no immediate impact on pricing.

P G Potnis, general manager, GCPL, informed F&B News, “There will be no impact on pricing.

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Govt to strengthen food safety in the country

The government will further strengthen food safety in the country by introducing standards regulations to bring quality of Indian food items at par with international quality levels, a senior official said Friday. ”The new norms and the policies for standardisation are in place and we have consulted all stake holders in that. The new norms will harmonise the Indian and international standard,” K. Chandramouli, chairperson, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) told IANS on the sidelines of the annual Indian Beverage Association (IBA) meet held here.

“This (process) will be run in consultation with all the stakeholders, including experts. This will strengthen the food safety measures we are taking,” Chandramouli said in his address. The FSSAI is expected to notify the standard norms by next week, and will be available on its website.

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India, Mumbai: FSSR failed to describe gradation; Act enacted in haste, S N Mohanty told

Tejinder Singh Renu, honorary secretary, Vidarbha Taxpayers Association (VTA), Nagpur, met S N Mohanty, chief executive officer, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), in New Delhi recently to discuss the ambiguities and discrepancies in the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA), 2006, and the Food Safety and Standards Regulations (FSSR), 2011.

While Renu was accompanied by Bhawanishankar Dave, joint secretary, Nagpur Hotel Owners Association, the country’s apex food regulator was represented by S S Ghonkrokta, director (enforcement); Madhawan, deputy director (enforcement-I); and D S Yadav, deputy director (enforcement-II).

Renu explained, “The Act is literally threatening to close down practically all food business operators (FBOs) in the country, as the Regulations have a number of provisions that are practically impossible to comply with, and has also given unprecedented powers to the food inspectors leading to Inspector Raj.”

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India, Bengaluru: BCIC meet looks at how F&B industry still grappling with adherence to FSSAI

The food & beverage industry is still grappling with adherence to the Food Safety & Standards Act (FSSA). From petty vendors to food business operators who are looking to follow the regulations, all are confounded with ambiguity about appropriate documentation procedures among other issues.

All this and more with regard to the FSSA were the key topics taken up at a seminar on Demystifying Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006, organised by the Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce (BCIC), here on Friday.

A panel of experts from the industry and the Karnataka Public Health Institute deliberated on the need to adhere to food standards as safety in consumption was paramount.

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