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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Whether Tea is an article of food-Food Safety and Standards Act - ?

ചായപ്പൊടി ഭക്ഷ്യവസ്തുവാണോ?
ഭക്ഷ്യ സുരക്ഷാ നിയമം എങ്ങനെ ബാധകമാകും ? 


Whether Tea is an article of food-
Food Safety and Standards Act - ?
The term food is defined in section 3(1)(j) of food safety and Standards Act 2006. It can be contended that tea is not an article of food, but however the same is included as an article of food by food safety and Standards Authority of India and such inclusion is illegal, unjustifiable and beyond the contemplated powers given by the parliament in section 3(1)(j) of the food safety and Standards act.
The central government alone can declare by notification in the official gazette 'any other article' as food for the purpose of this act. Therefore making a regulation in Reg.No.1.10.1 of the food safety and Standards (food products standards and food additives) regulation 2011 raises legal dispute.
Thislegal issue is espoused by the judgement of Honourable Supreme Court in 2003 2 FAC page 303 SC. In MOSBY'S medical dictionary 2011 edition page 1106 defines "Tea" as " see the word cannabis" and in page 178 defines "Cannabis". It means a psychoactive drug derived from the flowering tops of hemp plants; in the last portion of the definition it is stated as "tea weed".
Therefore it is contended that the food Authority of India has exceeded its delegated powers given by Parliament as per section 15(2) of the FSS Act read with section 92 of the Act.
However quiet  interestingly,  it is noted that that the food safety and Standards Authority of India (enforcement division) themselves had issued an order on 19th May 2016, stating that in the recently conducted large scale laboratory analysis of tea for determining the content of iron filing, it was noted that, there were wide variations in the test results due to various reasons. The food safety and Standards Authority of India admits that it would not be appropriate to rely on the test results for iron filings in tea till such time the method of assessment is finalized.
Despite of this order, several prosecutions are launched on the finding that extraneous matter (iron filings) are detected in tea dust. On the contrary, some of the prosecutions are stalled by the high court of Kerala on this legal point. (WPC 30531.16, CRL MC 18.2017).

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