Centre to complete groundwork for Food Safety Act by Jan 2009

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New Delhi, Jul 28 (UNI) The Union Government today informed the Supreme Court that it will complete the groundwork for implementing the Food Safety Act, which will make it mandatory for soft drink companies, like Pepsi and Coca Cola, to display the ingredients of their products on the bottles, by January 1, 2009.

Additional Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran also told a bench comprising Justices A K Mathur and Dalveer Bhandari that the Government will notify the Act within the next six months, from January 1, 2009.

At this, the judges told the Government that it is taking a very long time in enforcing the Act which has already being passed by both the Houses of Parliament and the President of India has already given assent to the Bill.

The court also directed the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) to submit its report, whether the chemicals used by the soft drink majors are harmful for human health.

Centre for Public Interest Litigation, an NGO, in its petition, has alleged that the chemicals and substances used by the soft drink majors are extremely harmful for human health.

According to the petitioner, the companies are using chemicals which are not fit for human consumption.

The two soft drink companies have, however, claimed that their products are in conformity with the international standards and are not harmful for the human body, but they are resisting the plea for display of the contents of their products on their bottles.

The Food Safety Act will replace the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act.

UNI SC SBC UCS1705

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