Got a Prob­lem with a Food Prod­uct or an Ad about It?

Re­port it The cen­tral govern­ment pri­mar­ily plays an ad­vi­sory role in its im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Food Safety and Stan­dards Act, although it is en­acted by the state gov­ern­ments. The state gov­ern­ments also han­dle the re­dres­sal is­sues. If the food items are ad

Consumer Voice - - Front Page -

Have you ever found a food packet that does not have the veg/non-veg logo or one that you sus­pect is adul­ter­ated? Has it hap­pened that you opened a food pack and found an in­sect or a hair strand in it? Have you come across any food ad­ver­tise­ment that is mis­lead­ing? Have you then won­dered what ac­tions you might take to re­port the same? Was it then the be­gin­ning of a jour­ney to find out about your rights as a con­sumer, and what you may do if you have a com­plaint against any food prod­uct?

Food safety is a ma­jor pub­lic health con­cern. There are spe­cific laws, man­dates and reg­u­la­tions in In­dia to main­tain the qual­ity of food and to en­sure food safety. In fact, there are reg­u­la­tions for the ways in which a food prod­uct can be pro­moted.

The Food Safety and Stan­dards Act (FSSA), 2006, en­acted by the In­dian Par­lia­ment in Au­gust 2006, has a set of reg­u­la­tions and man­dates for man­u­fac­ture, stor­age, im­port, sale, and dis­tri­bu­tion of any food prod­uct. The main ob­jec­tives of this leg­is­la­tion are:

a) to pro­tect the pub­lic from toxic and harm­ful food items b to pre­vent the sale of food items that are not up to the stan­dards c) to pro­tect the in­ter­ests of con­sumers by re­mov­ing fraud­u­lent prac­tices Con­sumers play an im­por­tant role in en­sur­ing food safety. Sup­pose a food prod­uct com­plaint is reg­is­tered by a con­sumer. Now, de­pend­ing on the type of prob­lem, a batch of the con­cerned food prod­uct may be called back from the mar­ket, as a re­sult of which a pub­lic health haz­ard is avoided. Sim­i­larly, based on a com­plaint filed by a con­sumer, a mis­lead­ing food ad­ver­tise­ment that pro­motes un­healthy eat­ing could be called off across all me­dia chan­nels. Clearly, it is im­por­tant that con­sumers re­port their prob­lems at the suit­able por­tal or the rel­e­vant place. As con­sumers, we have cer­tain rights with re­gard to the food and food prod­ucts we pur­chase and con­sume. Con­sumers also have a re­dres­sal mech­a­nism to help them.

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