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Efforts on to ease regulatory bottenecks, says FSSAI CEO at ReCHaN meet
Friday, 30 August, 2019, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Vijetha Iyer, Mumbai
FSSAI, the country’s apex food regulator, has made serious efforts to reduce the problems in the regulatory affairs in the food sector. This was stated by Pawan Kumar Agarwal, chief executive officer at the fourth Stakeholder Forum, hosted by ReCHaN (Resource Centre for Health Supplements and Nutraceuticals) and FSSAI here recently.

ReCHaN is a collaborative initiative by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the International Association of Dietary/Food Supplements Association (IADSA), and is being leveraged by FSSAI to oster a culture of best practices in the areas of manufacturing and standard formulation. FSSAI has been working closing with ReCHaN with the aim of achieving global excellence in a science-based ecosystem for the sector.  

“Now many of the issues have been streamlined, and as regards the standards and regulations made under the Food Safety and Standards Regulations, 2011, the food businesses operators need to follow them,” Agarwal said.

He added, “As far as the role of FSSAI is concerned, we had made progress, and the problems have narrowed. Labelling guidelines have to be followed by the company. The compliance of the standards, the testing protocol of the supplement does not exist. The manufacturers have to be very careful with the same. We do check manufacturing plants, once in a while, to ensure safety of the supplement.”

The FSSAI CEO stated that ReCHaN had played an important role in demystifying the issues. The launch of the new training package for pharmacists and retailers will be instrumental in creating awareness about this sector among the relevant stakeholders across India.

“This would be a handy toolkit for all those involved directly or indirectly in sale and distribution of these products, a ready guidance for point of sale,” he added.

Present on the occasion, Simon Pettman, exceutive director, IADSA, spoke about the global developments in the health supplement and nutraceutical sector, wherein he explained about the facts about the market.
 
He said, “There are relatively few interventions which have been explored and have potential links between total dietary nutrient density and workplace productivity and performance. As per the reports, vitamins and dietary supplements will be overtaking OTC (over-the-counter) drugs by 2023.”
 
S K Sharma, chairperson, FSSAI panel on functional foods and other similar products, said, “The traditional use and regulatory framework of botanicals should not be considered as opposing scientific data. It should be viewed as additional and where there is absence of such data, well-documented traditional use should provide legitimate basis for regulatory framework for botanicals.”
 
The panel discussion was focussed on the role of PPP in strengthening the health supplements and nutraceuticals ecosystem. It comprised Michelle Stout, regulatory policy, Amway, and chair, IADSA; Sangeetha Srinivasan, manager, marketing, human nutrition, South Asia, DSM; Atanu Halder, senior director, product operations, Herbalife Nutrition, and Ajit Singh, president, HADSA.
 
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