Crop Care Federation of India (CCFI) has brought to the notice of the FSSAI that some organic food companies are flaunting norms. In a written notice to the FSSAI the CCFI says that organic food labels are misleading and they are deliberating deceiving consumers with tall claims.
CCFI has demanded strict legal action against the offenders and has blamed the FSSAI for being unable to regulate the misleading labels and the unproved scientific claims they have made. As proof, CCFI has collected a dozen or two samples from across the country that show that organic brands are clearly flaunting regulations by claiming that conventional crops are more toxic than foods grown with compost manure and say that it “reduces chances or various diseases like cancer, brain damage and infant abnormalities.” This according to CFFI is deliberate misinformation. Some other brands they say are flouting rules and misusing the certificate and logo that is issued by FSSAI.
Some weeks back the Agricultural Research Institute had tested samples of organic vegetables sold in Delhi. The tests showed that almost a third of the vegetable samples had pesticides. According to standards organic foods are not permitted to use synthetic herbicides and pesticides. However, food that has caused the most uproar is the claim by a company selling organic ginger powder that it could “protect food from cancer causing pesticides.”
Labelling norms are also being openly flouted. CCFI has shown examples of brands selling ‘organic rava idli’ mix and ‘organic chaat masala that have not disclosed the percent of ingredients used in the products. While one has an FSSAI license number on its label the masala company does not even have an FSSAI license. What is more surprising is that FSSAI seems to be unaware about all these irregularities and so has not taken action against any of those who are selling products that do not follow the FSS Act and are not in compliance with FSSAI regulations.
Organic food is food that is grown and processed according to specifically laid down standards. However, there seems to be a misconception, even among the most well known and biggest organic brands, that they can claim organic food to be superior in nutrition and safety provisions as compared to conventional foods. This is a wrong concept and FSSAI needs to take action to correct it by taking punitive action against those organic brands that are doing do.
In the meantime CCFI is planning to take FSSAI to court for failing to monitor the false claims of organic brands which, as can be seen, are objectionable and are not scientifically supported.