CHENNAI: The country’s Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSAI) has been facing roadblocks in regulating imported goods, especially chocolates, even as the regulatory body has brought within its ambit about 30 lakh food business operators.
Speaking at a two-day national seminar on Consumer Product Safety, organised by CONCERT and sponsored by the US Consulate here, FSSAI chairman K Chandramouli said during the Deepavali season, a large chunk of chocolates shipped to India violated domestic regulations of ‘zero vegetable fat’.
While the companies adhered to the US and the European food safety standards, they failed to satisfy Indian standards, he said.
“On testing one of the brands, we found that it contained 70 per cent of vegetable oil,” Chandramouli said, adding that the FSSAI drew flak for its action while cracking down on imported chocolates. He said some of the imported goods used Chinese or Arabic labelling, making it difficult for Indian consumers to ascertain their manufacturing and expiry dates. However, the situation had improved with FSSAI’s intervention, he said.
Speaking of another hurdle in the registration of food business operators, Chandramouli said, “This is applicable from a small-time sundal vendor to big corporate food manufacturers. It’s a tough task and for the last three years, we have had only 30,000 registered operators.”