The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has launched a surveillance drive to curb the menace of spurious drugs manufactured by nutraceutical companies operating across the country. As part of this initiative, the regulatory authority has initiated its first set of drives in Himachal Pradesh, directing its Regional Office, North, to take immediate action against the defaulting Food Business Operators (FBOs) involved in the production of spurious drugs.

As part of this drive, 21 facilities operating in Baddi, Himachal Pradesh, were inspected and 111 samples have been lifted during June 7-9, 2023. Further, 25-30 per cent of the nutraceuticals manufacturing facilities in Himachal Pradesh will be inspected by the end of June 2023. To address this issue, the CEO, FSSAI, convened a meeting with major manufacturers of health supplements and nutraceuticals of Baddi, Himachal Pradesh, on June 20, 2023, at FSSAI headquarters.

During the meeting, the CEO, FSSAI issued a stern warning, emphasising the absolute necessity for strict compliance with nutraceutical regulations. Non-compliance was highlighted as having severe consequences, including the possibility of licence suspension or cancellation, as well as the initiation of criminal cases.

Recognising the significance of a coordinated effort, the FSSAI has directed the Commissioner of Food Safety, Himachal Pradesh, to provide full support in carrying out the surveillance drive effectively. FBOs found to be in violation may be prosecuted under Section 59 of FSS Act, 2006, where punishment like lifetime imprisonment or a fine of not less than Rs 10 lakh will be imposed.

To facilitate involvement of citizens in maintaining food safety, FSSAI also provides a dedicated consumer grievance portal, the Food Safety Connect app, available on both iOS and Android platforms. Through this user-friendly platform, individuals can promptly report any non-compliance or violations they come across, enabling the FSSAI to take swift action and address the issues effectively.