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FSSAI to revisit the norms for penalty and punishments

FSSAI to revisit the norms for penalty and punishments under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006

In light of increased food adulteration cases in India, the APEX body for food i.e. FSSAI is looking to amend the standards for food items to tightening the noose around offending food business operators, including manufacturers, sellers and distributors. As per the data published by FSSAI, the Food adulteration rate in India stood at 23% in 2016-17 compared to 13% in 2011-12 i.e. almost doubled in the last five years
It is said as per the sources that, the penalty for selling sub-standard, unsafe food (resulting in both death like situation or death) is going to be take a huge makeover considering the cases in the recent past.
Let’s see the definition of misbranded food as per FSS Act 2006,

(zf) ‘Misbranded food’ means an article of food
(A) If it is purported, or is represented to be, or is being
(i) Offered or promoted for sale with false, misleading or deceptive claims either; (a) Upon the label of the package, or (b) through advertisement, or
(ii) Sold by a name which belongs to another article of food; or
(iii) offered or promoted for sale under the name of a fictitious individual or company as the manufacturer or producer of the article as borne on the package or containing the article or the label on such package; or
(B) if the article is sold in packages which have been sealed or prepared by or at the instance of the manufacturer or producer bearing his name and address but –
(i) the article is an imitation of, or is a substitute for, or resembles in a manner likely to deceive, another article of food under the name of which it is sold, and is not plainly and conspicuously labelled so as to indicate its true character; or
(ii) the package containing the article or the label on the package bears any statement, design or device regarding the ingredients or the substances contained therein, which is false or misleading in any material particular, or if the package is otherwise deceptive with respect to its contents; or
(iii) The article is offered for sale as the product of any place or country which is false; or
(C) if the article contained in the package ‘
(i) contains any artificial flavoring, colouring or chemical preservative and the package is without a declaratory label stating that fact or is not labelled in accordance with the requirements of this Act or regulations made thereunder or is in contravention thereof; or
(ii) is offered for sale for special dietary uses, unless its label bears such information as may be specified by regulation, concerning its vitamins, minerals or other dietary properties in order sufficiently to inform its purchaser as to its value for such use; or
(iii) is not conspicuously or correctly stated on the outside thereof within the limits of variability laid down under this Act.

Please find below the current penalty rates prescribed under various sections of the FSS Act 2006 that may get amended during the course of time
Section Offence Persons Covered Imprisonment Fine (Rs.)
50 Food not of quality demanded by purchaser;
Not in compliance with the Act
Seller NA 2 Lakhs
51 Sub-standard food Manufacturer, Seller, Storage, Distributor, Importer NA 5 Lakhs
52 Misbranded food -do- NA 3 Lakhs
53 Misleading advertisement: False description;
Or Nature or quality or substance;
Publisher or any person involved in publishing NA 10 Lakhs
55 Failure to comply with FSO direction Food business operator or importer NA 2 Lakh
56 Unhygienic or unsanitary:
Processing; or Manufacture
Manufacturer or processor NA 1 Lakh
57 Possessing  Food adulterant Manufacturer, Seller, Storage, Distributor, Importer NA Injurious to health -10 Lakhs; Non- injurious to health- 2 Lakhs
59 Unsafe food Manufacturer, Seller, Storage, Distributor, Importer No injury – 6 months Non-grievous injury – 1 year; Grievous – 6 years; Death – 7 years to Life imprisonment 1 Lakhs

3 Lakhs

5 Lakhs

10 Lakhs
63 Carrying on business without license Any person or Food business operator 6 months 5 Lakhs

Hence, as proactive measure Food businesses are required to review their current operations for compliance with the FSS rules & regulations and mitigate the risks associated with non-compliance. 
FSSAI is yet to publish official details in this regard.

Source: refer news feed section titled “Food safety regulator looking at stricter penalty for offenders

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