Genesis of FSSAI: History and Background

Introduction

FSSAI was established by Former Union Minister Dr Anbumani Ramadoss, Government of India on 5 August 2011 under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 which was

operationalized in year 2006. The FSSAI consists of a chairperson & 22 members. The FSSAI is responsible for setting standards for food so that there is one body to deal with and no confusion in the minds of consumers, traders, manufacturers, and investors. Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India is the Administrative Ministry of Food
Safety and Standards Authority of India.
History and Background
1. Prior to Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, there was multiplicity of food laws, food
related legislation was fragmented and there was lack of uniformity in approach and effect.
Moreover, there were various Ministries/ organizations/ agencies for standard setting and enforcement of different sectors of food. As a result, there were varied quality/safety
standards with rigidness. The existing laws on food failed to match the rapid evolution of
food related technologies and advancement in production, storage, distribution, sale, etc.
There were few laboratories with poor laboratory infrastructure coupled with thin spread of manpower, and other resources non-conducive to effective fixation of standards. There was poor information dissemination to consumer level.
2. It is in this background that the need for a single law with single regulatory body at
national level on all food safety and related matters was felt to ensure holistic approach,
uniformity and effective implementation. The Central Government declared its intention in
this behalf in the Budget Speech in 2002. The work pertaining to consolidation of various
Acts/ Orders governing food was entrusted to the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, who piloted the Food Safety and Standards Bill, 2005 which was finally enacted as the Food
Safety and Standards Act, 2006 by the Parliament and the same was published in the
Gazette of India (Extraordinary) Part II, Section 1 on 24th August, 2006 after receiving
assent of the President on 23rd August, 2006.
3. The FSS Act was a result of extensive consultations with various stakeholders and series of discussions/deliberations in the Inter-Ministerial Group and Standing Parliamentary
Committee meetings and its clearance from the Group of Ministries. The Ministry of Health
and Family Welfare was finally designated as the Administrative Ministry for the purposes of
the FSS Act, 2006.

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