The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has come out with draft regulations for organic food products to ensure the authenticity of organic foods.
FSSAI’s guidelines have been prepared in view of rising demand for organic food products.
Organic foods will have to comply with the government’s provisions under the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) or the Participatory Guarantee System for India (PGS-India) run by the Agriculture Ministry or any other standards notified by FSSAI.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has invited comments from the public regarding the provisions of the draft regulations.
At present, the consumers do not have any method to check the authenticity of the organic food products due to the absence of a regulatory framework. Organic food products are those that have to be grown without the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides or those made from organically produced raw materials. The draft regulations are aimed at ensuring the authenticity of organic food products sold in the market.
The draft regulations have come up with the following definitions:
Organic agriculture has been defined as a system of farm design and management that creates an eco-system of agriculture production without the use of synthetic external inputs such as chemicals, fertilisers, pesticides and synthetic hormones or genetically modified organisms.
The organic farm is defined as the product obtained from organic agriculture.
Organic foods are defined as those food products that are produced in accordance with specified standards for organic production.
Organic farm produce means the product obtained from organic agriculture, while organic food means food products that have been produced in accordance with specified standards for organic production.
FSSAI’s regulation mandates that labelling of organic foods should provide full and accurate information regarding the organic status of the organic foods.
Organic food products must carry a certification mark or a quality assurance mark provided by the notified certification bodies.
FSSAI’s regulations have exempted organic food marketed by the original producer or producer organisation through a direct sale from verification compliance. However, this exemption will not be applicable to processed organic products.