Trade body urges TN government to conduct steering committee meeting to discuss food safety issues

Published - July 10, 2024 09:57 pm IST - MADURAI

 

Madurai Oil and Oil Seeds Associations have urged Tamil Nadu government to conduct State-Level Steering Committee meeting which would serve as a platform for stakeholders to deliberate and address food safety compliance matters.  

Stating that the meeting which must be headed by the Chief Secretary and Health Secretary has not been conducted since the retirement of former Chief Secretary V. Irai Anbu, the association said and added that the meeting was essential to present several grievances of the trade organisations regarding the food safety process to the government. 

V. Krishnamoorthy, secretary, said the meeting should be conducted, and all the important trade bodies related to the department should be invited, which would pave the way for resolving some of the pressing issues.  

Condemning the food safety department’s irregular practice of testing the food products even after their shelf life, he said, it was the traders who were bearing the pressure of the mistakes committed by the food safety officials and the department. 

“When the law clearly states that the food sample which is collected should be tested within 14 days, the testing is being conducted at a snail’s pace sometimes after the expiry date of the product which is against the law,” he noted.  

When a product was procured before its expiry date and tested several days after it expired, how would the results be positive, he questioned.  

Remarking on the government’s exorbitant charging fees for appeal in the referral lab, Mr. Krishnamoorthy said, “While the fee earlier was ₹5,000, now the charge has been increased to ₹13,000 + 18% GST. While big corporates can afford such a huge price, small scale and cottage industries find it very hard to pay such huge amounts.”  

Even if the manufacturer was confident his product was perfect, he was unable to fight against the food safety’s negative test results fearing the exorbitant cost, he noted.  

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