New R&D Policy for Food Processing Industry

September 2009

The Ministry for Food Processing Industries (“MFPI”) is contemplating a new policy for promoting Research and Development (“R&D”) in the food processing industry. The new policy will primarily stress on the development of private public partnerships for R&D in this sector.

PSA view There is a need for the development of new cost-effective methods for food preservation and packing and this policy initiative taken by the MFPI is a step in the right direction. The rationale for this policy is to build capacity, both of technology and food processing capabilities, and foster increase in the processing of perishable food items and raise the value addition of agricultural produce. As the MFPI has also announced that certain fiscal benefits would be attached to companies that undertake such R&D projects, this sector is likely to see a drastic increase in participation.

Regulations for Contract Research Organization (“CRO”) to be in place soon

The Central Drugs and Standard Control Organization will soon make public the draft regulations for regulating CROs on its website http://cdsco.nic.in/ to obtain feedback from the stakeholders. The draft regulations, once approved, and notified will ensure an efficient and proper functioning of the innumerable CROs currently operating in the country.

PSA view CROs play a significant role in a clinical study by forming a link between the Sponsor, the study sites, and investigators. In fact, they assume the Sponsor’s role in several aspects. Consequently, their method of functioning and the adopted practices assume enormous significance. The authority’s pro-activeness and zeal to further enhance India’s image as an attractive clinical-trial destination is apparent. Steps like these will go a long way in ensuring that clinical trials are conducted in a safe and efficacious manner, and further send out positive signals to the pharma companies all over the world interested in conducting clinical trials in India. It is a good opportunity for the stakeholders to give their view and be instrumental in evolving an effective clinical trial study structure in India.

FSSA all set to replace PFA

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (“FSSA”) has been established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 as a statutory body for laying down standards for articles of food and regulating manufacturing, processing, distribution, sale, and import of food so as to ensure safe and wholesome food for human consumption. The central committee for food safety standards of the Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has so far been responsible for ensuring that the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act (“PFA”) is being implemented for domestic and imported products. Till new standards are specified, the requirement and other provisions of the PFA shall continue to be in force as a transitory provision for food standards which will be repealed from the date it is notified by the Central Government as per the FSSA. Till now, a few sections related to FSSA have come into effect by various notifications issued by the Ministry.

PSA View As the consumers’ lifestyle choices and demands are changing rapidly in Indian cities, it has led to a great expansion of food processing market in India. FSSA is an attempt to harmonize several laws related to food and act as the main regulatory body for food related issues in India.

By:
Food &Pharma Team
Priyatha Rao
Neeraj Dubey
Ashutosh Chandola