Indias food regulator to look again at product approval process

India's food regulator to look again at product approval process

India’s food safety body, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), is hoping to have set up a new process for product approvals in six months after it scrapped the previous system following a legal challenge.

The FSSAI's announcement came after India's Supreme Court upheld a 2014 judgement from the Bombay High Court, which had ruled in favour of Mumbai-based Vital Nutraceuticals and the Indian Drug Manufacturers’ Association. They had claimed the system, set up in 2013 and which demanded products already on sale had to re-apply for approval, was beyond the regulator's powers as mandated in the 2006 Food Safety and Standards Act.

"In the light of recent judgments of various courts relating to food safety, FSSAI has decided to engage legal assistance for the formulation of regulations on an urgent basis to govern product approvals, imports, and procedures of issuing guidelines and administrative instructions," the watchdog said in a statement.

An official for the FSSAI said all stakeholders would be consulted amid criticism of the previous system.