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India: Food authority mulls wait & watch

The country’s top food regulator, Food Safety and Standard Authority (FSSAI) seems to be in no hurry to finalise the draft of the whistleblower scheme aimed to reward informants exposing food adulteration. This despite, its surveys reporting that contamination of food items including milk is common across the country.

In fact, the FSSAI has put on hold the draft guidelines stating that it is waiting for the Parliament to enact the “Whistleblower Bill,” which is yet to be discussed in the Rajya Sabha.

“For, it wants its scheme to be on the line of the proposed legislation whenever it is passed,” said a senior official in the Union Health Ministry which oversees the working of the autonomous body.

The draft guidelines prepared by the FSSAI follows the announcement of Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad in February in 2011 to frame a whistleblower scheme to reward those who provide information against those indulging in adulteration of food. Azad had promised zero tolerance against the food adulterators.

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