The FSSAI is the abbreviation of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India which has been established under the Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006 (FSSA). The FSSAI is an independent body which is controlled by the Ministry of Health and family Welfare, and its main function is to fulfill the objectives that have been laid down in the act. The FSSA laid down rules and regulations regarding food safety standards, regulates the manufacture, storage distribution, sale and import, of the food products and also makes sure that there is the availability of safe and healthy food for consumption. This act also lays down the punishments and penalties if an offence is committed against the rules laid down in the act, and provides rules regarding the structure of officers in the FSSAI.. This act is a combination of 7 older acts , they are The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954, The Fruit Products Order, 1955, The Meat Food Products Order, 1973, The Vegetable Oil Products (Control) Order, 1947, The Edible Oils Packaging (Regulation) Order, 1998, The Solvent Extracted Oil, De oiled Meal, and Edible Flour (Control) Order, 1967, The Milk and Milk Products Order, 1992. The act replaced the above 7 acts. The FSSAI should promote the health of the public by making sure that the food standards are followed by all industries, which can be checked by continuous supervision. The main office of the FSSAI is situated in Delhi.
The objectives of the FSSAI are discussed as follows:
- To establish a set of common standards that have to be adhered by all industries producing food, to ensure food safety.
- Establish a information network, to make the consumers aware about all the standards, and practices used in the manufacturing of goods. (Consumer Awareness)
- Regulate the manufacturing, storage, distribution, sale and imports of the food products.
- Most importantly to to ensure that the rules and regulations under the act are not violated. If by chance offences are committees they have to punished accordingly.
The functions of the FSSAI are: (They have been clearly given under the FSS Act, 2006)
- Issue FSSAI license to all who have followed the standards, this makes the industry more reliable for the consumers. The license acts as a permit to the food industries. This license is only issued if the manufacturing if happening in the safest way possible and if the food is healthy in all possible ways.
- Enforcing all the safety standards that have been laid.
- Laying down mechanisms and guidelines for accreditation of certification bodies engaged in certification of food safety management system for food businesses.
- Laying down procedure and guidelines for accreditation of laboratories and notification of the accredited laboratories.
- Provide advice and support to the central and state government when it is regarding framing policies for food safety and nutrition.
- Collect data regarding relevant scientific and technical data relating to food and its safety, and providing for measures in case of emergency situations.
- Creating an information network across the country so that the public, consumers, etc receive reliable information regarding food safety.
- Provide training programmes for persons who are involvedor want to get involved in food businesses.
- Contribute to the development of international technical standards for food, sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards.
- Promote general awareness about food safety and food standards.
Food is a good which is consumed by all levels of the society, either rich or poor, as it provides survival to them, therefore it should pe provided in the most safest way possible which makes the population more healthy and strong. To sum it up, the FSSAI is important because it has to fulfill the above stated and objectives and functions. If it does not do it duly then there will be chaos and exploitation related to food and its safety in the nation, therefore the authority playa an important role in regulating the standards set which ensure welfare of the people. The only way that all the above set of rules will be followed are by legislating it and giving it legal validity. Hence, law plays an important role in developing the society within it. Law scares the criminals, and gives protection to all the innocent in this case the consumers, it protects them from exploitation.