Delhi-based non-profit, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has disapproved of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)s move to make certification of organic food sold in India mandatory. It says that not only will such a move promote just the certification industry but also strike a blow to the organic farming movement in India and impact country’s food safety.
On March 31, 2017, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had issued a notice asking for comments on a proposed regulation titled Draft Food Safety and Standards (Organic Foods) Regulations, 2017 (Draft Regulations). The regulation seeks to make certification mandatory for any food that claims to be organic in the domestic market.
Currently, certification for food sold as organic in India is not mandatory.However, there are two prevalentcertification systems which are voluntarily followed by those who want to sell food under this category.
The first system, which is governed by the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry, is mandatory for exports. It is called the National Programme for Organic Production and is also referred to as Third Party Certification.
The second system, governed by the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, is called the Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) and is meant only for the domestic market. The Third Party Certification system is applicable to individual farmers or farmer groups, while the PGS is applicable only to farmer groups and works around the collective responsibility of the group.