The Indian government issued a notice on 16 June 2023 about boosting organic product promotion through cooperative societies, emphasizing the importance of reliable testing to ensure organic product authenticity.
To achieve this, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) issued directives to FSSAI-notified labs under the FSS Act 2006. Key directives include enhancing lab capabilities for organic testing, seeking recognition from APEDA for specialized organic product testing, and participating in proficiency testing through APEDA’s National Referral Laboratory.
These measures aim to ensure the quality and credibility of organic products, aligning with global trends towards healthier, sustainable choices and enhancing consumer confidence in India’s organic industry.
In a continued commitment to this, the government is prioritizing the need for reliable testing. The success of this initiative hinges on ensuring the authenticity and quality of organic products, necessitating stringent quality control measures. Consequently, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued crucial directives to all FSSAI Notified laboratories, as per sections 43(1) and 43(2) of the FSS Act 2006, with a specific focus on organic testing.
The Importance of Reliable Testing-
Organic products have witnessed a surge in demand both locally and globally, with consumers increasingly seeking healthier and environmentally sustainable choices. To meet this growing demand, it is essential to maintain the highest standards of organic product authenticity and quality. This requires a robust and efficient testing system.
Key Directives for FSSAI Notified Laboratories-
Enhancing Capabilities: FSSAI has urged all Notified laboratories to critically evaluate their existing testing capabilities. Laboratories are expected to take proactive measures to enhance their infrastructure and expand their testing scope for organic products. This approach ensures that laboratories are well-prepared to efficiently and accurately address the unique challenges of organic testing.
APEDA Authorization: Laboratories have been directed to submit applications to the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) for authorization as accredited laboratories for testing organic products. These applications should include the submission of accreditation certificates and scope details, explicitly indicating their inclusion in the list of laboratories specializing in organic product testing.
Proficiency Testing: Laboratories have been instructed to apply to APEDA’s National Referral Laboratory for proficiency testing programs and competence assessment. This is a crucial prerequisite to qualify for pre-export testing of organic products, ensuring consistent and accurate testing results.
Scope Inclusion: Laboratories conducting organic product testing are mandated to include this specific category within the FSSAI-NABL integrated scope.
These directives have been issued with full approval from the Competent Authority, signifying the government’s unwavering commitment to promoting healthier and more sustainable choices. By adhering to these guidelines, laboratories will play a pivotal role in upholding the integrity and quality of organic products in India. This initiative marks a significant step toward fostering consumer confidence and ensuring the continued growth of the organic industry in the country.