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All about the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSS Act)

Food Safety and Standards Act

The article is all about the Food Safety and Standards Act- FSS Act and the reason for its existence. The Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 lead to the establishment of the Food Safety Authority of India-FSSAI. The Act is empowered to carry out the operations relating to maintaining standards related to food. It changed the situation related to food monitoring.

The relation between the Food Safety and Standards Act and FSSAI

  1. We are aware that food safety measures in India were inadequate; there was no regulatory authority or body to cater to the needs under one roof related to food safety.

The Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006[1] (FSS Act) was enacted after that FSSAI was established in 2008 with the legislative regulations added to the Parent Act-FSS Act, 2006. The multiple rules supporting the Act are as follows:

  • Food Safety (Licensing & Registration of Food Business) Regulations, 2011.
  • Food Safety & Standards (Food Products Standards & Food Additives) Regulations, 2011.
  • Food Safety and Standards (Contamination, Toxins, & Residues) Regulations, 2011.
  • Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction on Sale) Regulations, 2011
  • Food Safety and Standards (Packaging & Labeling) Regulations, 2011.

Read our article:FSSAI Packaging and Labelling Regulations in India

The FSS Act had already replaced multiple food laws and enforcement agencies for different food sectors in India.

FSSAI Features/ FSS Act

  • Prohibits Adulteration

It keeps an eye on the adulteration activities of the food business operators in India

  • Mixing of Additives

It keeps a check on the quantity used and how much not to be used.

  • Prohibits selling

It has a negative list of food products which cannot be sold and used by the seller in the food products.

  • Scientific Research

The critical part of this body is that standards have been laid down using scientific research.

  • One Umbrella Body

The FSS Act is a consolidating statute that brought several provisions of different laws together such as – Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954, Vegetable and Oil Control (Order), 1947, Milk and Milk Products, 1992.

The FSSAI checks and monitors the regulation of the manufacture, storage, distribution, sale, and, import by food business in India.

Reasons for Enactment

All about the Food Safety and Standards Act
  1. Uniform Act

The application of one food act FFS Act all over India. The Act was passed by the Parliament, to merge eight different laws of India, into one comprehensive act.

  1. Consolidation of Food Law

It consolidated food related laws into one. The Acts which were replaced by the FSS Act are- Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954, Food Products Order, 1955, Meat Food Products Order, 1973, Milk and Milk Products Act, 1992 etc.

  1. Shift In Two Regimes

The Act provided a shift from regulatory regime to a self-reliant regime. This means that FBO was authorized to act in compliance satisfying the requirements of all stages of production, processing, imports, distribution, and sale of food products.

  1. Transparent system

It provides an accountable, transparent, regulatory framework, with well-defined powers, functions, and responsibilities. It made mandatory to follow the food safety system.

  1. Decentralization of Licensing

It provides the decentralization of the licensing system. States were authorized to issue state licenses. It mandated the licensing and registration of food business in India.

  1. Proper Procedures for Imports

There is proper regulation of imports in India, after the coming of the FSS Act. All food products are covered under this.

  1. The network of food laboratories have increased
  2. Consist of food policy measures which safeguard the public health

This means the provisions for graded penalties under the Act. Offenses related to manufacturing, storing, selling, adulterated or sub standardized food products, is punishable with fine.

Difficulties in the system of Food Safety Laws in India

a. Historical reference

From the mid of 1900 food processing sectors laws, framed in a authentic grid of regulation including multitude of states laws, e.g.-FPO, MMPO, Export Act, Insecticide Act, MFPO, BIS, EPA, Infant Milk Substitute, APA, Essential Commodity Act, VOPO, etc. This has resulted in need of the unified single food regulatory authority.

b. Multiple regulations

There was multiplicity of regulations, for which food operators had to obtain a license under different departments like:

  1. Ministry of Agriculture

License for-

  • Agricultural Produce & Marking Act,
  • Milk and Milk Product Order
  1. Ministry of Food and Consumer Affairs

License for-

  • Essential Commodities Act
  • Standards of weights & Measures Act
  • Packaged Commodities Rules
  • Consumer Protection Act
  • BIS Act
  1. Ministry of Commerce

License for-

  • Import & Export Regulations
  • Export of Inspection Agency
  • Tea Board
  1. Ministry of Food Processing Agencies

License for-

  • Fruits Product Order
  • Meat & Meat Product Orders
  1. Ministry of Rural Development

License for-

  • Agricultural Produce Grading & Marking Act 1937
  1. Ministry of Forest & Environment

License for-

  • Trade-in Endangered Species Act
  1. Ministry of HRD

License for-

  • Infant Milk Substitutes, Feeding Bottles,
  • Infant Food (Regulation of Production, Supply & Distribution ) Act
  1. Ministry of Trade & Commerce

License for-

  • Atomic Energy Act, 1962
  • Control of Irradiation of Food Rules, 1991

c. FSS Act and FSSAI changed the system of Food laws-

With FSSAI various acts and orders as mentioned above, controlled by different ministries, and departments, were integrated and were notified through the rules and regulations. This marked a shift from multi-level to a single level of control, focusing on self compliance, rather than the pure regulatory regime.


It can be concluded that FSS Act, 2006 is a parent body legislation, and food business operators take FSSAI registration a single body for registration for multiple food acts, by moving from multi departments control to a single line of command, by establishing FSSAI and State Food Authorities for each state. Where the FSSAI – does framing of regulation and laying down standards & guidelines of food safety, granting food safety licenses, certification to the food business, laying of procedure & policies for the laboratories and collection of data of contaminated food products and introduction of the rapid alert system.

Read our article:Packaged Commodities Rules: A Complete Guide

Sonal Pruthi

She is B.Com (H), LL.B LLM, Cs (Module 2) And Certification In Cyber Law From ILI Qualified. She has Been A Legal Teacher In The Previous Organization. My Strength Is My Expertise Knowledge In Civil Laws, Corporate Law And Tax Laws. I Have Been Legal Teacher And Legal Trainer In The Past Organization. Her Knowledge About The Subjects Have Expanded Due To Teaching Number Students From Various Universities All Over India.

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