Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Health Ministry Denies Media Reports about Ministry’s Stand on FSSAI Regulation 2.3.4
Attention of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has been drawn to the reports appearing in a section of media incorrectly quoting Ministry’s stand regarding FSSAI Regulation 2.3.4.

In this regard, the correct factual position is that the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India(FSSAI), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, has notified the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Regulations, 2011 dated 1st August 2011, in exercise of powers conferred on it under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. Regulation 2.3.4 of this notification says that Tobacco and nicotine shall not be used as ingredients in any food products. As gutkha (having tobacco and nicotine) is held to be a food product, the said Regulation prohibits its manufacture, sale and storage.

The Ministry has issued letters to many States including Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka requesting them for implementation of the above FSSAI Regulation.

The State Governments of Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Bihar and Maharashtra have already issued orders/instructions to implement the regulation 2.3.4, inter-alia prohibiting the sale of gutkha (having tobacco and nicotine) in these states.

The Ministry, through FSSAI, has also filed an affidavit in the Delhi High Court where the above Regulation stands challenged, inter-alia stating that Gutkha is a food item, and that since it contains tobacco and nicotine, its sale is prohibited under the said Regulation. 

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