Govt plans to check fake trade of organic foods
In a wake a call to all those who are involved in selling basic food items by branding them as organic one, the government has decided to bring out a regulation to check all such malpractices. The apex food regulator Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) would come out with a draft regulation to authenticate organic foods by the end of this month.
According to FSSAI CEO Pawan Agarwal, the move is aimed at ensuring safety across the value chain through proper certification of such products. "Given that there is no mechanism in place to regulate organic food products, the regulator is more concerned about it as normal food items are being sold on the name of organic one which adds to adulteration in food items. It's posing serious threats on health standards," Agarwal said.
"The regulator has been taking various initiatives in this direction and has issued new standards. In addition to it, we are coming out with regulations for organic food. The initial draft, which has been prepared after consultations with various stakeholders, is ready with us," the FSSAI CEO said, adding the draft is likely to be released by this month.
Commenting on the need for regulations on organic food, Delhi's Food Commissioner Dr Mrinalini Darswal said, "Lots of organic foods are being sold in the market, but there is no mechanism in place to differentiate between a normal food item and an organic one. As there is no regulation to check the authenticity of the organic products, nobody would know as the food that they are consuming contain pesticides or not. The organic market has witnessed a huge growth in the last few years."
"Putting a check on food contamination practices is a challenge for the FSSAI and we have been taking several initiatives in this direction. The regulations would empower a common man to verify any 'fake' product by matching some of the basis parameters," Darswal said, adding, "The people have to more sensitive as the apex food regulator can only create awareness about a particular adulteration and it's the consumers who have to follow those guidelines."
"There are some certification programmes for organic foods and the government is creating umbrella regulations as traceability is an important factor in organic foods market", Darswal told Millennium Post.
The draft would also propose setting up of a committee to suggest any change in the certification method being followed currently or need for a new certification system.