They were operating without licence or product approval

The Tamil Nadu Food Safety and Drug Administration Department (Food Safety Wing), Coimbatore Unit, on Wednesday issued closure notices to three flavoured water manufacturing units here for operating without licence or product approval.

The action follows an instruction, issued on Monday, by Food Safety Commissioner Kumar Jayanth, to implement a judgment of the National Green Tribunal’s Southern Zone to close water manufacturing units operating without the approval of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

Many water manufacturing units labelled their products as ‘flavoured’ or ‘herbal.’. These were not covered under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, which had set stringent standards only for ‘mineral’ and ‘packaged’ water, both of which must have ISI accreditation issued by the Bureau of Indian Standards.

Following the NGT judgment, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board was directed to take water samples of all such water manufacturing units, regardless of the labelling, across the State. Such samples were taken from 62 units in Coimbatore district, of which only three companies had not obtained any approval.

R. Kathiravan, Designated Officer, Coimbatore, told The Hindu that notices were issued to Amohha Flavoured Water, a product of Jayaram Industries, Season Dew Flavoured Water packaged at Pappanaickenpalayam by GJX Aqua Industries and H2OOH packaged at Annur at Sri Balaji Water Industries. “We have asked these three units as to why they should not be closed down within one week since they had not obtained ‘No-objection Certificates’ from the Food Safety Wing or clearance under FSSA,” he said.

A drive would soon be launched to close down all illegal water packaging units in the city. Anyone having information on illegal water manufacturing units operating in the city could mail the information to the e-mail id: dofssacbe@gmail.com. All information would be kept in confidence and action taken, assured Dr. Kathiravan.

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