Organic food is those foods that do not involve chemicals or pesticides in the process of growing, is comparatively healthier and environment friendly. People are constantly shifting towards chemical free food and productivity of such food is rapidly increasing, and so is the fraud increasing while preparing, packing or labeling the food and people are not sure which product to buy and what not, the Food Safety and Standards (Organic Foods) Regulations was need of an hour.
FSSAI through one of its notification released the regulations regarding organic food as “the Food Safety and Standards (Organic Foods) Regulations, 2017” under this FSSAI has given the guidelines under which all the Food Business Operators dealing in Organic Food need to comply with. These regulations are based on the standards of National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) and Participatory Guarantee System (PGS-India).
Manufacturing, packing, selling etc. of organic food
Any Food Business Operator is not allowed to manufacture, pack, sell, offer for sale, market or otherwise distribute or import any organic food until and unless they are meeting with all the requirements of the regulations mentioned.
Whatever is printed on a label must be completely true and must not be deceiving to the consumers so the labeling on organic food must be accurate and should convey all the information of the product on its organic status.
Requirement to comply with the provision of the other regulations made under the Act
All the organic food producers must comply with the Food Safety and Standards (Organic Foods) Regulations, 2017 along with the relevant provisions, as applicable, under the Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011 and the Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins and Residues) Regulations, 2011 except for residues of insecticides for which the maximum limits shall be 5% of the maximum limits prescribed or Level of Quantification (LoQ) whichever is higher will be applicable.
Some interesting facts about organic foods
- Sikkim has been declared as the India’s first fully organic state
- Total area that has been given organic certification all over India is 5.71 million hectares.
- India stands on the first rank in terms of number of organic producers
- Under organic culture India stands on 9th rank.
- India is an exporter of approx. 1.35 million MTs of certified organic foods.
Features of National Programme for Organic Production
1. It was launched during 2001 and laid the foundation for systematic development of organic agriculture sector in the country.
2. It is being managed by APEDA under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
3. it is the main stay for quality assurance for organic agriculture products in India operated through 28 accredited certification bodies.
4. It has grown almost 35 fold starting from 42,000 ha in 2003-04 TO to 1.45 million ha during 2016-2017.
5. All types of agriculture, horticulture and non-food crops are grown under organic certification process.
6. Livestock, aquaculture, animal feed processing and handling, mushroom production, sea weeds, aquatic plants and green house crop production have also come under the ambit of organic certification.