New anti-adulteration law makes food adulteration a punishable offence: Azad

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New Delhi, Apr 20 (ANI): Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday said the new anti-adulteration law makes food adulteration an offence punishable with life imprisonment and added that manufacturers can be fined up to Rs ten lakhs.

Responding to supplementaries during Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha, Azad said the Food Safety and Standards Act passed by the Parliament in 2006 would come into action within the next three to four months.

The Act integrates multiplicity of provisions under various food related laws and will regulate food safety standards and uniform licensing in the country.

zad said 43 sections out of the 101 sections in the Act have been notified and the rest would be notified shortly.

He, however, said there was a delay as several subjects were not under the Health Ministry and had to be brought under a common ambit.

There was also a transfer of the employees from various departments to the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India that has been established under the Act.

"In 3-4 months, this (Act) will become law," he said.

The new Act provides for penalty on manufacturers of adulterated food items including fine of Rs 1 lakh to Rs 10 lakh to be adjudicated by an officer of the rank of Sub-Divisional Magistrate.

The fine was earlier decided by the court, which would now determine the punishment.zad said the adulterers face six-months to life imprisonment

"The new Act aims to ensure safe, hygienic and wholesome food for the citizens of the country. It also bestows responsibility on the food manufacturers and traders to manufacture and supply safe, hygienic and wholesome food," said Azad..

"It also provides provisions regarding food recall procedures and improvement notices. Adjudication process has also been introduced for speedy disposal of cases under the new Act," he added. (ANI)

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