A two-day national seminar on food safety which aims at creating greater awareness on the Food Safety and Security Act (FSSA) commenced here on Saturday.
The topic for the seminar was ‘Emerging trends’ in Food Production and Safety. Food Safety and Security Authority of India CEO VN Gaur spoke on the additional provisions in the Act that make it more powerful than the previous Acts on food safety.
This is an integrated law with an autonomous authority to act on it. There will also be a fast track judicial system to enforce its provisions. “The act can work only if the people become watchdogs,” said Institute of Hotel Management’s former principal BP Tripathy. The FSSA will act as a subset of the Consumer Protection Act, he said.
Gaur spoke on the the apprehension of many about the licence raj because of the Act. “By introducing the Food Safety Act we have to pay a price, but in the absence of such an Act, we would have paid a greater price,” said Gaur. Statistics show that around 30 per cent of diseases are food-related, 20 per cent of hotel food is unsafe and around 30 per cent fruits perish due to lack of storage facilities. These figures make it necessary to go for better measures on food safety, he said.
With the increasing use of pesticides, the focus is shifting to organic farming. Therefore, the seminar will focus on cost effective hygiene. Deliberations on new food products and GM crops will be done. There will also be discussion on new packaging materials, shelf-life enhancing technologies.
The Expert’s Thought: Good Initiative.