NHRC issues notices to Health Ministry, FSSAI and drug controller general over production of spurious drugs in Himachal’s Baddi : The Tribune India

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NHRC issues notices to Health Ministry, FSSAI and drug controller general over production of spurious drugs in Himachal’s Baddi

Seeks reply within 4 weeks

NHRC issues notices to Health Ministry, FSSAI and drug controller general over production of spurious drugs in Himachal’s Baddi

Photo for representational purpose only. iStock



Ambika Sharma

Tribune News Service

Solan, June 2

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Friday issued notices to the Secretary, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Chairperson, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), and the Drugs Controller General of India after taking suo motu cognizance of a media report that stated the Baddi Industrial area had become a production hub of spurious vitamins, syrups, and drugs in the name of food supplements by the nutraceutical companies.

The Tribune had carried a news report—Himachal: State Controller moves DCGI over food units making drugs—on May 30 in this regard. The NHRC took the note of the story and sought a detailed report in the matter within four weeks.

“Reportedly, there are more than 100 nutraceutical companies active in the area, which have the license to produce only food products under the Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006. Hence, these are beyond the purview of the Drug Controller General of India and the State Food Safety Department. The companies are taking advantage of the lack of coordination between the government departments,” the NHRC press release stated.

The Commission observed that the content of the media report, if true, raise a serious issue relating to the right to life of the people due to an apparent lack of coordination and apathy on the part of the government departments.

It has sought a detailed report in the matter within four weeks on issues which include the present status of the implementation of the relevant laws to check the supply and sale of spurious drugs in the State of Himachal Pradesh by the nutraceutical companies in the name of producing vitamins and supplements etc.

According to the media report, carried on 30th May, 2023, five companies have been sealed, out of which three companies had licenses to produce food items and according to the law they cannot produce allopathic medicines. Till the year 2006, all the nutraceutical companies were within the ambit of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 and the Food Safety Department of the State was the authority to test the samples, conduct investigations and issue the licenses but when the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 came into existence, all the powers were shifted to the central agencies.

Reportedly, the licenses of these companies are granted by the FSSAI under the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, which manages to visit Himachal Pradesh for checking the samples hardly once or twice a year only if any complaint is received. Neither the Drug Controller nor the Food Supply Department of the State can conduct tests on the samples of the drugs and inquiries against these companies.

#Baddi #human rights #National Human Rights Commission #Solan


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