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Kohima chief medical officer (CMO) Dr. Ritu Thurr has barred traders from buying and selling food products “imported illegally” from Myanmar in view of blatant violation of Food Safety & Standards Act (FSSA) 2006, Rules& Regulations (RR)2001.
Thurr, who is also designated food safety officer, directed the traders to immediately stop distributing and supplying these food products. Failure to comply would invite action as per relevant sections of the FSSA 2006 and R&R 2001.
Retailers were also asked to return the food products to concerned distributor(s) or supplier(s) as they too would be liable for penalisation as per the FSSA, R&R 2001 if such items are found in their business premises. The explanation for the ban on Myanmarese food items was that first, they were illegally entered into the market in contravention of the FSSA 2006 and R&R 2001.
The CMO next pointed out that, for example, apple juice, grape juice with brand names “Soo Te”, “Power”, etc, were flooding the market but had no ‘date of manufacture’, no ‘best-before’ date and ‘no name of their manufacturers’. As per information from traders, he said these juices were Myanmarese products and were being distributed through some distributors and suppliers in Kohima.
Thurr claimed that all of the products were “misbranded” imported food products and that, in the eventuality of any food poisoning, it would not be possible to implicate the manufacturers or producers. He, therefore, asked consumers to be aware and remain alert about such food products.
Also, besides imported food products, he also said even Indian and local food products should have information like ‘manufacturing date’, ‘best-before’ date and name, address of the manufacturer.
He added that any complaint regarding food could be filed with the CMO office.
The CMO also advised general public to check labels of the imported food products before buying them. He stressed that every such product should have the name and complete address of the importer in India on the package or on the containers. He warned that if any food poisoning occurred with a particular imported food product, necessary action would be taken against its importer.
In pursuance to commissioner of food safety’s order (DHFW/FSSA-21/32/2007-08/3055, dated Kohima, June 22, 2018) and as per Section 25 (1) (iii) of Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006 and Section 2 (2.2) (2.2.2) (6) (iii) of Food Safety & Standards Regulations, 2011 (Packaging and Labelling), Thurr clarified that no person could import any food article into India in contravention of the provisions of the Act or any rule or regulation made under the Act.