The apex food regulator has issued an advisory regarding strict compliance with the provisions of Infant Milk Substitutes, Feeding Bottles and Infant Food (Regulations of Production, Supply and Distribution) (IMS) Act, 1992 (41 of 1992).
The FSSAI has asked all the concerned food businesses including e-commerce platforms to strictly adhere with the provisions of the IMS Act, ‘in letter and spirit and desist from adopting surrogate promotions’.
“All the Central licensing authorities and designated officers of FSSAI and the Commissioners of Food Safety of all the states are advised to closely monitor the products and promotional activities of the concerned FBOs including any sister non-profit or otherwise association, institute established by these FBOs and in case of any violation is noticed then strict legal action may be initiated against them by filing a written complaint before a court,” says the advisory issued by the FSSAI.
The FSSAI has also sought action taken report from state authorities from time to time into the subject.
Under the IMS Act, the designated officer or the food safety officer can lodge a complaint in a court asking to take cognizance of any offence punishable under the Act.
According to the FSSAI, advertising and promotion and incentivising the use or sale of infant milk substitutes or feeding bottles or infant foods are prohibited under the IMS Act. Further, inducement to health workers for promoting use of infant milk substitute etc. including funding of seminar, meeting, conference, educational course, contest, fellowship, research work or sponsorship are also prohibited.
The contravention of the provisions of the IMS Act can result in imprisonment upto 3 years.
It is pertinent to mention here that last year allegations were levelled against food giant Nestle for violation of the IMS Act by sponsoring a seminar of doctors.