Lok Sabha passes Food Safety and Standards (Amendment) Bill

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New Delhi, Mar 18 (UNI) The Lok Sabha today passed the Food Safety and Standards (Amendment) Bill which seeks to establish an Authority to consolidate the laws relating to food in the country and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import of these items.

Replying to the debate in the House on the Bill, Health Minister A Ramadoss said once the Authority is notified, all other other acts relating to the subject will be repealed.

He said the Authority, to be located in Delhi, will be under the control of the Cabinet Secretary.

The government wishes to establish the Authority as ''soon as possible,'' the Minister added.

Mr Ramadoss said once the Authority comes into existence, relevent standards relating to food products will be established.

The Minister justified the bringing of an ordinance in this regard to expedite the selection and appointment of Chairperson and members of the Authority.

The Bill seeks to replace the Food Safety and Standards (Amendment) Ordinance.

The Authority will also look into the regulation of drugs, Mr Ramadoss said.

He said the health ministry was a crusader against junk food, anti-tobacco and all such things which adversely impact on the health of the populace.

The resolution, moved by BJP's Rasa Singh Rawat, disapproving the Ordinance was withdrawn by him after the Minister gave assurances about the urgency of setting up the Authority.

The Minister said the punishment provided for adulteration of food was stringent, but ruled out capital punishment on the grounds that this was being rooted out world over.

Mr Ramdoss said while packaged water comes under the purview of the food act, water in general too needs to be brought under its ambit.

Saying that this was some distance way, he asked members to ponder as to how this could be done.

He informed that animal food will be also covered by the Authority.


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