CHENNAI: India’s Food Safety and Standard’s Authority (FSSAI) has been facing roadblocks in regulating imported goods, especially imported chocolates, even as the food safety regulator has brought in its ambit 30 lakh food business operators.
Speaking during the two-day national seminar on Consumer Product Safety organized by CONCERT and sponsored by US Consulate in Chennai, K Chandramouli, chairman of FSSAI, said that during Deepavali a majority of imported chocolates shipped into India violated the domestic regulations of zero vegetable fat.
He said while these companies adhere to the US and European food safety standard, they failed to adhere to Indian standards of zero vegetable fat. “While testing one of the brands we found that it has 70 per cent of vegetable oil,” said Chandramouli.
Interestingly, after FSSAI tried to crackdown on the imported chocolates it drew flak for its action. Chandramouli now has left the issue with the consumers.
He also highlighted how the imported goods were using Chinese or Arabic labelling making it hard for Indian consumers to know about the manufacturing as well as expiry date of these goods. “Now things has improved after FSSAI intervention,” he said.
Interestingly, another big headache for FSSAI is to register the food business operators. “They can be from a usual sundal seller to big corporate food manufactuer. This is a really tough task. For the last three years we had only 30,000 registered food operators. But since we left it out to the state government who has to enforce the act, we now have 30 lakh food business operators. But we can’t quantify the exact numbers,” says Chandramouli.