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Despite SC order, FSSAI’s scientific panel has 3 members from industry

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is yet to take out three industry members from its scientific panel.
This has been discovered in spite of the fact that earlier in February 2011, the Supreme Court in its order sought the removal of industry members from the scientific panels and scientific committee of the FSSAI and instead have independent members.

The Authority had re-constituted the panels which had 20 industry members. Out of these 20 members, the FSSAI excluded few members and reabsorbed others after completion/termination of their services to the industries by taking them into the panels as industry consultants.

However, the status of the three members remained unchanged till today. These members who are still on board belong to private organisations. They are Dr Deepa Bhajekar, proprietor and chief executive officer, Micro Chem Laboratory, Mumbai; Dr Mridul Salagme, managing director, IADFAC Laboratories, Bangalore; and Rashmi Kulshrestha, expert in pesticides residues and contaminants, food and pharma regulatory consultant, Regulatory Wisdom.

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The Expert’s Thought: Its a sad news for the entire Industry that industry representatives are not included in Scientific panel for FSSAI.  Its may lead to a misrepresentation of the Food and Beverage and Health – Hygiene sector. However, the SC jurisdiction is abiding and cannot be challenged.

4 Responses to “Despite SC order, FSSAI’s scientific panel has 3 members from industry”

  • Arvind:

    It is very true the Industry member even though from R&D has interest in business rather than food safety. There will be always conflict of interest in the discussions and decisions. Only a regulatory professional and a scientist from research institutions will not have business interest and focus on food safety requirements. Food safety of a product developed by a FBO can be only be evaluated by regulatary institutions / professionals and there will not be any conflict of interest.

  • Arvind:

    It is not justified to have members from industry on scientific panel or in the setting standards, as there is conflict of interest. The panel meber should not have any business interest and should be able to take unbiased decisions to ensure food safety. Further, the scientific panel member should have the appropriate specialised qualification and experience who has aquired knowledge to review and analyse the scientific data generated by the scientific institutions on food safety requirements and capable and competent to judge the risks and set preventive measures / standards to ensure food safety.

  • Anant:

    It seems FSSAI are not confident about managing standardisation system and them self poor at their standards… or SC legal wrriten communication might not have reached to FSSAI.

  • Vishwanathaiah:

    I feel no harm done to FSSAI and its objectives if the Industry members are non biased and ethical in their duties as industry representatives, On the other hand FSSAI would vastly gain from the expert knowledge of these members. However, SC judgement shall prevail.

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