The Food safety regulator FSSAI plea against Bombay High Court order staying its 2013 advisory requiring manufacturers to take approvals for the products already in the market, was not entertained by Supreme Court today. Dismissing the plea, Supreme Court bench of Justices J S Khehar and C Nagappan said “No ground for interference is made out, in exercise of our jurisdiction under Article 136 of the Constitution of India. The special leave petitions are accordingly dismissed,".
The court upheld the Bombay High Court ruling that the advisory of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) cannot be sustained as it is not backed by statute. According to the May 2013 advisory which was quashed by Bombay HC, food products like "novel foods, functional foods, food supplements, irradiated foods, genetically modified foods, foods for special dietary uses or extracts or concentrates of botanicals, herbs or of animal sources" should apply for product approval.The High Court had found that the advisory does not have any statutory backing.
Industry body Assocham welcomed the order and said in a press release that it “strongly feels that this decision will uphold the industry’s interests especially in the small and medium scale sector which find the process of product approval and enforcement as a cause of major concern, bordering on fear, for them. This advisory if enacted would have put additional burden on the thin resources of SME sector as well as wasted the valuable time in obtaining unnecessary approvals”.FSSAI seems to be at the receiving end from the Courts in India these days. Last week its order banning Maggi was quashed by Bombay High Court.
Read the order here.