Duties of Food Authority (FSSAI)

Section 16: Duties and functions of Food Authority

(1) It shall be the duty of the Food Authority to regulate and monitor the
manufacture, processing, distribution, sale and import of food so as to ensure safe
and wholesome food.
(2) The Food Authority may by regulations specify –
(a) the standards and guidelines in relation to articles of food and specifying
an appropriate system for enforcing various standards notified under this Act;
(b) the limits for use of food additives, crop contaminants, pesticide residues,
residues of veterinary drugs, heavy metals, processing aids, myco-toxins,
antibiotics and pharmacological active substances and irradiation of food;
(c) the mechanisms and guidelines for accreditation of certification bodies
engaged in certification of food safety management systems for food
businesses;
(d) the procedure and the enforcement of quality control in relation to any
article of food imported into India;
(e) the procedure and guidelines for accreditation of laboratories and
notification of the accredited laboratories;
(f) the method of sampling, analysis and exchange of information among
enforcement authorities;
(g) conduct survey of enforcement and administration of this Act in the
country;
(h) food labelling standards including claims on health, nutrition, special
dietary uses and food category systems for foods; and
(i) the manner in which and the procedure subject to which risk analysis, risk
assessment, risk communication and risk management shall be undertaken.
(3) The Food Authority shall also –
(a) provide scientific advice and technical support to the Central Government
and the State Governments in matters of framing the policy and rules in
areas which have a direct or indirect bearing on food safety and nutrition;
(b) search, collect, collate, analyze and summarize relevant scientific and
technical data particularly relating to – (i) food consumption and the exposure
of individuals to risks related to the consumption of food; (ii) incidence and
prevalence of biological risk; (iii) contaminants in food; (iv) residues of
various contaminants; (v) identification of emerging risks; and (vi)
introduction of rapid alert system;
(c) promote, co-ordinate and issue guidelines for the development of risk
assessment methodologies and monitor and conduct and forward messages on the health and nutritional risks of food to the Central Government, State
Governments and Commissioners of Food Safety;
(d) provide scientific and technical advice and assistance to the Central
Government and the State Governments in implementation of crisis
management procedures with regard to food safety and to draw up a general
plan for crisis management and work in close co-operation with the crisis unit
set up by the Central Government in this regard;
(e) establish a system of network of organizations with the aim to facilitate a
scientific co-operation framework by the co-ordination of activities, the
exchange of information, the development and implementation of joint
projects, the exchange of expertise and best practices in the fields within the
Food Authority’s responsibility;
(f) provide scientific and technical assistance to the Central Government and
the State Governments for improving co-operation with international
organizations;
(g) take all such steps to ensure that the public, consumers, interested
parties and all levels of panchayats receive rapid, reliable, objective and
comprehensive information through appropriate methods and means;
(h) provide, whether within or outside their area, training programs in food
safety and standards for persons who are or intend to become involved in
food businesses, whether as food business operators or employees or
otherwise;
(i) undertake any other task assigned to it by the Central Government to
carry out the objects of this Act;
(j) contribute to the development of international technical standards for
food, sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards;
(k) contribute, where relevant and appropriate to the development of
agreement on recognition of the equivalence of specific food related measures;
(l) promote co-ordination of work on food standards undertaken by
international governmental and nongovernmental organisations;
(m) promote consistency between international technical standards and
domestic food standards while ensuring that the level of protection adopted in
the country is not reduced; and
(n) promote general awareness as to food safety and food standards.
(4) The Food Authority shall make it public without undue delay –
(a) the opinions of the Scientific Committee and the Scientific Panel
immediately after adoption;
(b) the annual declarations of interest made by members of the Food
Authority, the Chief Executive Officer, members of the Advisory Committee
and members of the Scientific Committee and Scientific Panel, as well as the declarations of interest if any, made in relation to items on the agendas of
meetings;
(c) the results of its scientific studies; and
(d) the annual report of its activities;
(5) The Food Authority may from time to time give such directions, on matters
relating to food safety and standards, to the Commissioner of Food Safety, who shall
be bound by such directions while exercising his powers under this Act;
(6) The Food Authority shall not disclose or cause to be disclosed to third parties’
confidential information that it receives for which confidential treatment has been
requested and has been acceded, except for information which must be made public
if circumstances so require, in order to protect public health.
Section 17: Proceedings of Food Authority
(1) The Food Authority shall meet at the head office or any of its offices at such time
as the Chairperson may direct, and shall observe such rules of procedure in regard to
the transaction of business at its meetings (including the quorum at its meetings) as
may be specified by regulations.
(2) If the Chairperson is unable to attend a meeting of the Food Authority, any other
Member nominated by the Chairperson in this behalf and, in the absence of such
nomination or where there is no Chairperson, any Member chosen by the Members
present from amongst themselves, shall preside at the meeting.
(3) All questions which come up before any meeting of the Food Authority shall be
decided by a majority of votes of the Members present and voting, and in the event
of an equality of votes, the Chairperson or the person presiding over the meeting
shall have the right to exercise a second or casting vote.
(4) All orders and decisions of the Food Authority shall be authenticated by the Chief
Executive Officer.
(5) The Chief Executive Officer shall take part in the meetings of the Food Authority
but without a right to vote.
(6) The Food Authority may invite the Chairperson of the Scientific Committee to
attend its meetings but without a right to vote.
(7) No act or proceedings of the Food Authority shall be questioned or invalidated
merely on the ground of existence of any vacancy or defect in the constitution of
Food Authority

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