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Easier FSSAI norms may see FDI increase by 25%


FDI in the food processing sector is likely to go up by at least 25% as FSSAI streamlines regulations to ease product approvals, Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal has said.

The FSSAI had laid down quality standards for only 370 products. The regulator’s approval was a must for all other products. Now that the approval process has been relaxed, products with ingredients that are approved by the regulator may not require any approval, which will lead to more innovation and product launches and promote traditional food.

“Our contention has all along been that proprietary food products, for which standards are not defined in the FSSAI regulations, but have approved and standardised additives should not require product-by-product approval. This approach espoused by the Food Processing Ministry has now found favour with the regulator,” said Badal.

Proprietary food means an article of food that has not been standardised under the food safety and standards regulations. FSSAI has also issued a notice for operationalisation of standards for proprietary food, under which the definition has been changed. The proprietary food has now been defined as an article of food that has not been standardised under the regulations but which contains approved ingredients and additives.

From now on, such products may not require regulatory approval. However, the notice mentions that proprietary food does not include dietary supplements, nutraceuticals and genetically modified food products, among others. And the onus for the safety of food products will be on food business operators. The regulator has also uploaded a list of more than 8,000 permitted food additives, the food items in which they can be used and the recommended maximum level.

“With these new regulations in place, the industry’s concerns regarding product approvals will be addressed to a large extent. And I am optimistic that in coming months, there will be an increase of 25% FDI in the food processing sector” Badal said.

Source: Economic Times

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