Clause 22 of FSS Act, 2006 states that the Food products for special dietary uses, Health Supplements, Nutraceuticals & Functional foods have to be first approved from FSSAI and only after the acquiring NOC from the authority they will be allowed to be distributed in the country.
Dietary Supplements, Health supplements, Functional foods and Nutraceutical Industry are suffering the brunt of FSSAI’s Product Approval Scheme, despite having a stay order by the Mumbai High Court. The scheme has been amended eight times since its inception in 2012 and was most recently in May, 2013. The machinery failed to provide interim relief to the importers and manufactures as guaranteed by the court, till the time the decision is pending.
The port authorities have been demanding product approval from the importers despite the stay till August, 2014. This has become a severe problem as the authorities are reluctant in sending landed products for testing without the product approval due to which no clearance have been made for import of goods in India.
Some industry people complain that they had applied for more than one year but the status of their application is still unknown, the result, they are unable to sell their product.
India is a potential market of Nutraceuticals & Dietary supplements with increasing life expectancy and subsequent increase in lifestyle diseases. As per reports, India would take rapid stride in the coming decade in this sector. But unfortunately due to the ambiguity on product approval scheme, the industry is incurring heavy losses. Some FBOs have already winded up their businesses in the very initial period of their launch because of heavy losses incurred.
The issue is very severe and the industry associations have been trying for a comprehensive solution to the problem with FSSAI, so, it is now upto the Apex body to look into the matter and come up with a permanent solution to this issue.