The Food Safety and Standards Act has received a welcome gesture by almost everyone in the food industry and the end consumer. The FSS Act, 2006 covers everything ensuring safe food for the people besides clearly defining the requirements and the implications for all those involved in the business activity of food.
In the past, some associations & trade bodies have already opposed on some provisions to escape from the ambit of the Act and the latest to show the disagreement with the provisions are the food grain traders. The associations of food grain traders are demanding that they should also be exempted from penalties under the provisions of the act just as the farmers have been left out of the provisions for the punishment action, in case of impurities found in the raw form of a food grain.
The traders have a opinion that they are simply picking food grains in raw shape and selling it to the processors so it becomes the responsibility of the processor or the person who is selling to the consumer. Traders say they can not be held responsible for the impurities because of soil dust & insects in the food grain.
The new food security act does not include farmers because – as long as the food remains in the hand of the farmer or in his field, it is not covered under the definition of food as per the FSS Act, but once it reaches the market for sale it is covered under the Act.
The traders would soon organize a press conference to disclose their further plan of action. They are also meeting with the local representatives of the government in their areas to address this matter. If they continue in pressing their demand then any stir by such trade organization could impact the supply of the food items.
There is a fear & the anxiety in everyone’s mind as what will be the scenario post February 4, 2014, the last date of registration of all food businesses.