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Published : May 24, 2010 | Author : ranganathvg@legalserviceindia.com
Category : Consumer laws | Total Views : 13469 | Unrated

  
ranganathvg@legalserviceindia.com
V.G.Ranganath, working as Faculty of Law, IFHE University, Hyderabad.
 

A Vision of Food Related Laws with Special Reference To Consumer

Man is what he eats”.- Ludwig Feuerbach

Our personal consumer choices have ecological, social, and spiritual consequences. It is time to re-examine some of our deeply held notions that underlie our lifestyles-David Suzuki

Importance of Food: Food is an important part of religious observance and spiritual ritual for many faiths including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. The role of food in cultural practices and religious beliefs is complex and varies among individuals and communities [1].

The Holy Prophet Muhammad recommended even for pious man the quantity of food “which is just sufficient to keep his back-bone erect”.

There are milk, honey, grapes, lamb, olives ... in fact, since Christians believe that all good things are a gift of God, every food has deep religious significance [2]
Eating is an important activity, which is required in order to live. It is God, who has created each and every thing. Food, hunger, living beings, all of them the part of God’s creation. One should remember God, the Omnipresent, who has given both, sweet and sour delicacies to satisfy our taste buds. Following is the sloka/sholka which can be recited while eating or taking your food.

“Brahmaarpanam Brahma Havih Brahmaagnau Brahma Hutam,
Brahmaiva Tena Gantavyam Brahmakarmasammadhina
”[3].

Food is one of the basic necessities for sustenance of life. It is no wonder to say that community health is national wealth. Over the centuries of human existence on planet Earth, food, clothing and shelter have emerged as the three basic necessities. While clothing and shelter have emerged as basic needs in the due course of human evolution, right from the beginning of life, food has been the major source of energy and existence.

Every human being is a consumer in day today life availing goods and services for his necessity and fittest survival. A comparative approach to the visualization of food related laws with special reference to consumer is always valuable and advantageous.

There are number of pre-constitutional and post-constitutional laws, orders, rules that aim at the protection of the consumer interests with special reference to food aspect whether directly or indirectly. Some of these enactments are the Agricultural Produce (Grading and Marking) Act, 1937, the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954, the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969, the Standard of Weights and Measures Act, 1976, Bureau of India Standards Act, 1986, the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954, the Fruit Products Order, 1955, the Meat Food Products Order, 1973, the Vegetable Oil Products (Control) Order, 1947, the Edible Oils Packaging (Regulation) Order, 1998, the Solvent Extracted Oil, De oiled Meal, and Edible Flour (Control) Order, 1967, the Milk and Milk Products Order, 1992. The Constitution of India which is the fundamental law of the land also contains a number of provisions which go a long way in protecting the rights of the consumers. These provisions include Article 21 which deals with the right to life and personal liberty, Article 47 which guarantees the right to health and Article 48-A which aims at a pollution free environment for all citizens etc. The Supreme Court has held that the right to life under Article 21 includes the right to a healthy and safe environment. Several Acts and orders prevailed in India to safeguard food safety and the health of the consumer. They were introduced to complement and supplement each other in achieving total food safety and quality. The Central Government declared the year of 2008-09 as “Food Safety and Quality year”.

However due to variation in the specifications/standards in different Acts/Orders, and administration by different Departments and Ministries, there were implementation problems and a lack of importance given to safety standards over a period of time. The food industries were facing problems as different products were governed by different orders and ministries and the rules and regulations in the Country needed consolidation. The following are the Certain Acts which focuses the right of consumer to approach the proper authority or adjudication for his grievance to be settled or sorted out.

The Agricultural Produce (Grading and Marking) Act, 1937[4]
This Act provides for the grading and marking of agricultural and other allied commodities with the objective of making available only the quality agricultural produce including horticulture and livestock produce to the consumers. Under the provisions of this Act, the Central Government is authorized to make rules fixing grade designation to indicate the quality of any scheduled article, specifying grade designation, authorizing interested parties to grade, specifying conditions regarding manner of marking packaging etc and providing for the confiscation and disposal of produce marked otherwise than in accordance with the provisions of this Act etc:-

It is a mark given under Agricultural Produce (Grading and Marking) Act popularly known as AGMARK Act. Affixing or printing AGMARK on a food product means that the particular food item satisfies the standard prescribed under the Act. It provides assurance of quality to the consumers. The AGMARK are given to agricultural, horticultural, forest and livestock products. The Act and the rules stipulate conditions governing use of the standards and lays down procedures for marking, packing and sealing etc. AGMARK is not mandatory; but to apply AGMARK to a product that does not conform to the standards prescribed is an offence. Approved laboratories undertake analysis and testing the purity of products and prescribe conditions for use of the label, packing and marking also. The complaints and grievances of the consumers in respect of AGMARK grade products can be made to Agricultural marketing advisor who is empowered to order free replacement of the product. A consumer can also approach consumer redressal agencies also i.e District Forum , State Commission and National Commission etc.,

The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954:-
It is Act to make provision for the prevention of adulteration of food. The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act is a welfare legislation to prevent health hazards by consuming adulterated food. The mensrea is not an essential ingredient. It is a social evil and the Act prohibits commission of the offences under the Act. The essential ingredient is sale to the purchaser by the vendor. It is not material to establish the capacity of the person vis-à-vis the owner of the shop to prove his authority to sell the adulterated food exposed for sale in the shop. It is enough for prosecution to establish that the person who sold the adulterated article had sold it to the purchaser including the Food Inspector and that Food Inspector purchased the same in strict compliance with the provisions of the Act [5]. The main objective of the Act is to protect the public from poisonous and harmful foods, to prevent the sale of substandard foods and to protect the interests of the consumers by eliminating fraudulent practices.

Definition of Food:
any article used as food or drink for human consumption other than drugs and water and includes
a. Any article which ordinarily enters into or is used in the composition or preparation of human food

b. Any flavouring matter or condiments and

c. Any other article which the Central Government may having regard to its use, nature, substance or quality, declare, by notification in the official gazette as food for the purpose of this Act.

Initiative and Remedy to Consumer under this Act
The word ‘Consumer’ has not defined under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954. But the provision provides that the Central Committee for Food Standards Consist of five representatives nominated by the Central Government to represent the consumers interests, one of whom shall be from the hotel industry[6].

The Purchaser or Consumer or recognized Consumer association can send any article of food to Public Analyst for analysis report after informing the vendor at the time of purchase his or its intention to have such article so analyzed.[7]
The public analyst shall deliver a report to the Local (Health) Authority of the result of the analysis of any article of food submitted to him for analysis.[8]
On receipt of the report of the analysis to the effect that the article of food is adulterated, the local (Health) authority shall, after the institution of prosecution against the persons from whom the sample of the article of food was taken. The person or persons who sent for analysis or public analyst, either or both of them may make an application to the Court within a period of ten days from the date of receipt of the copy of the report to get the sample of the article of food kept by the local (Health) Authority analyzed by the Central Food Laboratory[9]. A Complaint under section 20 of the Act could be instituted not only apart from Central or State Government by a person authorized in that behalf[10].

Penalties:- Section 16 of PF Act, 1954 provides that subject to the provisions of sub-section(1-A) , if any person whether by himself or by another person on his behalf, imports into India or manufactures for sales, or stores or distributes any article of food which is adulterated………or misbranded or the sale of which is prohibited under any provision of this Act or any rule made thereunder or by an order of the Food (Health) Authority and whether by himself or by any other person on his behalf , imports into India or manufactures for sales, or stores, or sells or distributes any adulterant which is not injurious to health be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not less than six months but which may extend to three years, and with fine which shall not be less than one thousand rupees:

Section 16 (1-A) provides that if any person whether by himself or by any other person on his behalf, imports into India or manufactures for sale, or stores, sells or distributes any article of food which is adulterated within the meaning of any of the sub-clauses (e) to (l) (both inclusive) of clause (i-a) of section 2 or any adulterant which is injurious to health shall in addition to the penalty to which he may be liable under the provisions of section 6, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not less than one year but which many extend to six years and with fine which shall not less than two thousand rupees. If such article of food or adulterant when consumed by any person is likely to cause his death or is likely, to cause such harm on his body as would amount to grievous hurt within the meaning of section 320 of the Indian Penal Code shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three years but which may extend to term of life and with fine which shall not be less than five thousand rupees.

Essential Commodities Act, 1955
The EC Act, 1955 gives powers to control production, supply, distribution etc. of essential commodities for maintaining or increasing supplies and for securing their equitable distribution and availability at fair prices. Using the powers under the Act, various Ministries/Departments of the Central Government have issued Control Orders for regulating production/distribution/quality aspects/movement etc. pertaining to the commodities which are essential and administered by them.

The Essential Commodities Act is being implemented by the State Governments/UT Administrations by availing of the delegated powers under the Act. The State Governments/UT Administrations have issued various Control Orders to regulate various aspects of trading in Essential Commodities such as foodgrains, edible oils, pulses kerosene, sugar etc. The Central Government regularly monitors the action taken by State Governments/UT Administrations to implement the provisions of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.

The items declared as essential commodities under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 are reviewed from time to time in the light of liberalized economic policies in consultation with the Ministries/Departments administering the essential commodities. At present the list of essential commodities contains 15 items in which Foodstuffs, including edible oilseeds and oils are under Item no.6 of the List.

Powers to control production, supply, distribution, etc., of essential commodities[11]—
(1) If the Central Government is of opinion that it is necessary or expedient so to do for maintaining or increasing supplies of any essential commodity or for securing their equitable distribution and availability at fair prices, or for securing any essential commodity for the defence of India or the efficient conduct of military operations, it may, by order, provide for regulating, or prohibiting the production supply and distribution thereof and trade and commerce therein.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the powers conferred by subsection (1), an order made thereunder may provide—

(a) for regulating by licenses, permits or otherwise the production or manufacture of any essential commodity;

(b) for bringing under cultivation any waste or arable land, whether appurtenant to a building or not, for the growing thereon of food-crops generally or of specified food-crops, and for otherwise maintaining or increasing the cultivation of food-crops generally, or of specified food-crops;

(c) For controlling the price at which essential commodity may be bought or sold;

(d) For regulating by licences, permits or otherwise the storage, transport, distribution, disposal, acquisition use or consumption of, any essential commodity;

(e) For prohibiting the withholding from sale of any essential commodity ordinarily kept for sale.

(f) for requiring any person holding in stock, or engaged in the production, or in the business of buying or selling, of any essential commodity,-

(a) To sell the whole or a specified part of the quantity held in stock or produced or received by him or,

(b) in the case of any such commodity which is likely to be produced or received by him, to sell the whole or a specified part of such commodity when produced or received by him, to the Central Government or a State Government or to an officer or agent of such Government or to a Corporation owned or controlled by such Government or to such other person or class of persons and in such circumstances as may be specified in the order.

(g) for regulating or prohibiting any class of commercial or financial transactions relating to foodstuffs or cotton textiles which, in the opinion of the authority making the order, are, or, if unregulated, are likely to be, detrimental to the public interest;

(h) For collecting any information or statistics with a view to regulating or prohibiting any of the aforesaid matters;

Penalties [12]
(1) If any person contravenes any order made under section 3,—

(a) He shall be punishable,—

(i) in the case of an order made with reference to clause (h) or clause (i) of sub-section (2) of that section, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year and shall also be liable to fine, and

(ii) in the case of any other order, with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three months but which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine:

Provided that the court may, for any adequate and special reasons to be mentioned in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than three months;

(b) any property in respect of which the order has been contravened shall be forfeited to the Government;

(c) any package, covering or receptacle in which the property is found and any animal, vehicle, vessel or other conveyance used in carrying the commodity shall, if the court so orders, be forfeited to the Government.

A number of quality control orders have been issued under Essential Commodities Act,1955 such as Fruit Products Order,1955; The Solvent Extracted Oil, De-oiled Meal and Edible Flour (Control) Order, 1967: Milk and Milk Products Order,1992; Meat Food Products Order, 1973 and Vegetable Oils Control (Regulation) Order, 1998;The Edible Oils Packaging (Regulation) Order, 1998;

Fruit Products Order (FPO), 1955
Fruit Products Order -1955, promulgated under Section 3 of the Essential Commodities Act - 1955, aims at regulating sanitary and hygienic conditions in manufacture of fruit, vegetable products. It is mandatory for all manufacturers of fruit, vegetable products to obtain a license under this Order. To ensure good quality products, manufactured under hygienic conditions, the Fruit Product Order lays down the minimum requirements for:

1. Sanitary and hygienic conditions of premises, surrounding and personnel.
2. Water to be used for processing.
3. Machinery and equipment.
4. Product standards.
Besides this, maximum limits of preservatives, additives and contaminants have also been specified for various products.

This order is implemented by Ministry of Food Processing Industries through the Directorate of Fruit & Vegetable Preservation at New Delhi. The Directorate has four regional offices located at Delhi. The Directorate has four regional offices located at Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai, as well as sub-offices at Lucknow and Guwahati. The officials of the Directorate undertake frequent inspections of the manufacturing units and draw random samples of products from the manufactures and markets which are analyzed in the laboratories to test their conformity with the specifications laid under FPO. The Central Fruit Advisory Committee comprising of the officials of concerned Government Departments, Technical experts, representatives of Central food Technology Research Institute, Bureau of Indian standards, Fruits and Vegetable Products and processing Industry, is responsible for recommending amendments in the Fruit Product Order, In view of the demands of the industry, and the liberalised economic scenario, major amendments were made in FPO during 1997.

The Solvent Extracted Oil, De-oiled Meal and Edible Flour (Control) Order, 1967
This Order is basically a quality control order to ensure that the solvent extracted oils in particular are not reached to the consumers for consumption before the same are refined and conformed to the quality standards specified in the Order for the purpose. Standards for the solvent (hexane), which is to be used for extraction of oil from the oil-bearing materials, have also been specified so as to eliminate possible contamination of oil from the solvent used.

Salient Features

• Governs the manufacture, quality and movement of solvent extracted oils, de-oiled meal and edible flour;
Consumer protection through quality assurance of solvent extracted oils, de-oiled meal and edible flour;
• Eliminates the possibility of diversion of the oils for uses not intended.
• Prohibit by, offer to buy, use or stock for use, any solvent not conforming to the quality standards for extraction of vegetable oils; and
• Specifies particulars to be declared on the label affixed to the container.

Meat Food Products Order,1973 (MFPO)
Meat Food Products Order, 1973 (MFPO) promulgated under the provisions of Essential Commodities Act, 1955 provides for sanitary and other requirements, limits of heavy metals, preservatives, insecticides, residue, etc., for meat food products. This order was being implemented by Ministry of Rural Development in the Ministry of Rural Area & Employment. As on 31st March 1998 there were 128 licenses issued under MFPO 1973.As per the recent amendment to the Allocation of Business, Ministry of Agriculture (Depts. of Agriculture & Cooperation) would now be the Administrative Ministry for this Order.

Milk & Milk Products Order, 1992(MMPO)
Milk and Milk Products Order, 1992 administered by the Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying under Ministry of Agriculture was promulgated on 9th June, 1992 under the provision of Section 3 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 with a view to maintain an increased supply of liquid milk of desired quality to the general public. This order regulated production, supply and distribution of milk and milk products throughout the country. The order also seeks to ensure the observance of sanitary requirements for dairies, machinery and premises, and quality control standards for milk and milk products. So far, 254 registration certificates under MOP, 1992 has been issued by the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying.

Vegetable Oil Products Order, 1998
The Vegetable Oil Products industry is regulated by this Order through the Directorate of Vanaspati, Vegetable Oils & Fats, Department of Food, Public Distribution, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, and Food & Public Distribution. The earlier two Orders – Vegetable Oil Products (Control) Order, 1947 and Vegetable Oil Products (Standards of Quality) Order, 1975 have been replaced by a single Order called “Vegetable Oil Products (Regulation) Order, 1998 for proper regulation of manufacture, distribution and sale of Vegetable Oil Products.

Salient Features of the Order:
1) The procedure of Registration has been simplified.
2) The Standards of quality prescribed under the Schedule have been tightened.
3)The requirement where which are vogue and non measurable and thus open to arbitrary interpretation have been done away with.
4) Consumers’ protection through quality assured.

Edible Oils Packaging (Regulation) Order, 1998
In order to ensure availability of safe and quality edible oils in packed form at pre-determined prices to the consumers, the Central Govt. promulgated on 17th September, 1998, an Edible Oils Packaging (Regulation) Order, 1998 under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 to make packaging of edible oils, sold in retail, compulsory unless specifically exempted by the concerned State Govt.

Salient Features
• Edible oils including edible mustard oil will be allowed to be sold only in packed form from 15th December, 1998.

• Packers will have to register themselves with a registering authority.

• The packer will have to have his own analytical facilities or adequate arrangements for testing the samples of edible oils to the satisfaction of the Government.

• Only oils which conform to the standards of quality as specified in the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 and Rules made there under will be allowed to be packed.

• Each container or pack will have to show all relevant particulars so that the consumer is not misled, so also the identity of the packer becomes clear.

• Edible oils shall be packed in conformity with the Standards of Weights and Measures (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 1977, and the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 and Rules made there under.

• The State Governments will have power to relax any requirement of the packaging order for meeting special circumstances.

Consumer Protection Act, 1986
The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 is a milestone in the history of socio-economic legislation in India. It aims at providing an informal, inexpensive and expeditious justice to the consumers aggrieved by defects in goods or deficiency in services.

An Act to provide for the better protection of the interest of consumers and for that purpose to make provision for the establishment of consumer councils and other authorities for the settlement of consumers’ disputes and for matters connected therewith.

The word "consumer"[13] which means any person who,—

(i) buys any goods for a consideration which has been paid or promised or partly paid and partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment and includes any user of such goods other than the person who buys such goods for consideration paid or promised or partly paid or partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment. When such use is made with the approval of such person, but does not include a person who obtains such goods for resale or for any commercial purpose; or

(ii) hires or avails of any services for a consideration which has been paid or promised or partly paid and partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment and includes any beneficiary of such services other than the person who hires 1[or avails of] the services for consideration paid or promised, or partly paid and partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment, when such services are availed of with the approval of the first mentioned person.

Explanation.—For the purposes of sub-clause (i), "commercial purpose" does not include use by a consumer of goods bought and used by him exclusively for the purpose of earning his livelihood, by means of self-employment;

The word "defect"[14] means any fault, imperfection or shortcoming in the quality, quantity, potency, purity or standard which is required to be maintained by or under any law for the time being in force or 1[under any contract, express or implied, or] as is claimed by the trader in any manner whatsoever in relation to any goods;

The word "deficiency"[15] means any fault, imperfection, shortcoming or inadequacy in the quality, nature and manner of performance which is required to be maintained by or under any law for the time being in force or has been undertaken to be performed by a person in pursuance of a contract or otherwise in relation to any service;

If the consumer faces any grievance relating to food in way of defective good from any trader, manufacturer etc or deficiency of service from any hotel etc., he can get remedy by filing complaint before the consumer redressal agencies i.e District Forum, State Commission and National Commission basing on claim amount involved.

Food Safety And Standards Act, 2006:
It is an Act to consolidate the laws relating to food and to establish the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India for laying down science based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import, to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. This Act is still in the infant stage and certain sections are not yet notified. This Act consists of 101 sections and 2 schedules. The Second Schedule gives the details of Food Act/Orders which will stand repealed on commencement of the section 97 of the Act. Those were

1. The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 (37 of 1954).
2. The Fruit Products Order, 1955.
3. The Meat Food Products Order, 1973.
4. The Vegetable Oil Products (Control) Order, 1947.
5. The Edible Oils Packaging (Regulation) Order, 1998.
6. The Solvent Extracted Oil, De oiled Meal, and Edible Flour (Control) Order, 1967.
7. The Milk and Milk Products Order, 1992.
8. Any other order issued under the Essential Commodities

Act, 1955 (10 of 1955) relating to food.
The Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 was introduced to overcome these shortcomings and to give more importance to safety standards. This Act consolidates the laws relating to food and establishes the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSA) for laying down science-based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import, to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption.

This Act provides for the establishment of the FSSA which is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. FSSA’s work programs ensure the provision of appropriate scientific, technical and administrative support for scientific committees and scientific panels, ensuring that the FSSA carries out its tasks in accordance with the requirements of its users, prepares statements of revenue and expenditure and executes the budget, while developing and maintaining contact with the Central Government and ensuring a regular dialogue with its relevant committees. The FSSA shall establish a Central Advisory Committee, and this committee shall advise the FSSA in drawing up proposals for the FSSA’s work program, prioritization of work, identifying potential risks, pooling of knowledge and other functions specified by the regulations.

Sec.3(j)[16] of the FSS Act, 2006 provides that “food” means any substance, whether processed, partially processed or unprocessed, which is intended for human consumption and includes primary food to the extent defined in clause (zk), genetically modified or engineered food or food containing such ingredients, infant food, packaged drinking water, alcoholic drink, chewing gum, and any substance, including water used into the food during its manufacture, preparation or treatment but does not include any animal feed, live animals unless they are prepared or processed for placing on the market for human consumption, plants prior to harvesting, drugs and medicinal products, cosmetics, narcotic or psychotropic substances:

Provided that the Central Government may declare, by notification in the Official Gazette, any other article as food for the purposes of this Act having regards to its use, nature, substance, or quality;

There are general principles to be followed in administration of Act[17]:- The Central Government, the State Governments, the Food Authority and other agencies, as the case may be, while implementing the provisions of this Act shall be guided by the following principles, namely:-

(1) (a) Endeavour to achieve an appropriate level of protection of human life and health and the protection of consumer’s interests, including fair practices in all kinds of food trade with reference to food safety standards and practices;

(f) in cases where there are reasonable grounds to suspect that a food may present a risk for human health, then, depending on the nature, seriousness and extent of that risk, the Food Authority and the Commissioner of Food Safety shall take appropriate steps to inform the general public of the nature of the risk to health, identifying to the fullest extent possible the food or type of food, the risk that it may present, and the measures which are taken or about to be taken to prevent, reduce or eliminate that risk;

(2) The Food Authority shall, while framing regulations or specifying standards under this Act-
(e) Ensure protection of the interests of consumers and shall provide a basis for consumers to make informed choices in relation to foods they consume;

Compensation in case of injury or death of consumer[18]:- (1) Without prejudice to the other provisions of this Chapter, if any person whether by himself or by another person on his behalf, manufactures or distributes or sells or imports any article of food causing injury to the consumer or his death, it shall be lawful for the Adjudicating Officer or as the case may be, the Court to direct him to pay compensation to the victim or the legal representative of the victim, a sum-

(a) Not less than five lakh rupees in case of death;
(b) Not exceeding three lakh rupees in case of grievous injury; and
(c) not exceeding one lakh rupees, in all other case of injury:

Provided that the compensation shall be paid at the earliest and in no case later than six months from the date of occurrence of the incident:
Provided further that in case of death, an interim relief shall be paid to the later next of the kin within thirty days of the incident.

(2) Where any person is held guilty of an offence leading to grievous injury or death, the Adjudicating Officer or the Court may cause the name and place of residence of the person held guilty, the offence and the penalty imposed to be published at the offender’s expense in such newspapers or in such other manner as the Adjudicating Officer to the Court may direct and the expenses of such publication shall be deemed to be part of the cost attending the conviction and shall be recoverable in the same manner as a fine.

(3) The Adjudicating Officer or the Court may also-

(a) order for cancellation of license, recall of food from market, forfeiture of establishment and property in case of grievous injury or death of consumer;

(b) issue prohibition orders in other cases.

Penalty for contravention of provisions of this Act in case of import of articles of food to be in addition to penalties provided under any other Act[19]-(1) Any person who imports any article of food which is in contravention of the provisions of this Act, rules and regulations made there under, shall, in addition to any penalty to which he may be liable under the provisions of the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992 and the Customs Act, 1962 be also liable under this Act and shall be proceeded against accordingly.

(2) Any such article of food shall be destroyed or returned to the importer, if permitted by the competent authority under the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation ) Act, 1992 or the Customs Act, 1962, or any other Act, as the case may be.

Suggestions
1. Need for creating awareness about food safety and services.
2. There should be emphasis on good manufacturing practices instead of detection of adulteration and prosecution.
3. More laboratories with sophisticated technology to meet the current scenario tests to be established.
4. The Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 to be implemented soon to give efficacious results to the protection of Consumer.
5. The harmonization of multiple food laws is necessary to have a uniform and logical approach for regulating the quality of food.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[1] http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Food_culture_and_religion?open
[2] http://www.godweb.org/food.htm
[3] Bhagvadgita, Chapter IV, Karmayoga, Sloka 24.
[4] http://agmarknet.nic.in/apgm1937.htm
[5] State of Orissa v K.Rajeshwar Rao AIR 1992 SC 240
[6] Sec 3(gg) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954.
[7] Sec 129(1)(2) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954
[8] Sec 13(1) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954.
[9] Sec 13(2) ., Ibid
[10] Food Inspector, Health Department., U.T, Chandigarh v Krisha Dhaba AIR 1994 SC 664
[11] Section 3 of Essential Commodities Act, 1955
[12] Section 7 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955
[13] Section 2(d) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986
[14] Section 2(f).,Ibid
[15] Section 2(g) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986
[16] Section 3(j) brought into force on 28-5-2007 vide S.O.1246(E), dated 28-5-2008.
[17] Sec.18 of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006
[18] Section 65 of FSS Act, 2006
[19] Section 67 of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006

Authors contact info - articles The  author can be reached at: ranganathvg@legalserviceindia.com




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