New food safety legislation does not fit the health bill
as parliament gets ready to reconvene for the monsoon session, included in its list of business is a bill that is supposed to protect the health of the entire nation. The Food Safety and Standards Bill (fssb), 2005, is set to be tabled for a second time. It was first introduced in August last year and referred to a parliamentary committee after protests and controversy came along with the bill. Though the bill has now been tinkered with, it is still far from being a health-based regulation that will protect consumers.
The legislation has a basic problem: its aim to be a science-based regulation. In doing so it serves the cause of no one but industry. Industry has always aimed to use the controversies and uncertainties of scientific findings as an excuse to stymie tough regulatory standards. This enshrining in this bill of a science-based paradigm will give them a fresh lease of life.
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