India's Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSA) has sought a three month ban on import of dairy products from China, where nearly 53,000 children have fallen ill after consuming milk powder contaminated by the industrial chemical melamine.
The decision to seek a ban on the dairy products from China was taken at a high level meeting of FSSA here Tuesday, which was attended by officials from the ministries of agriculture, commerce and industry, and health and family welfare.
“FSSAI will forward the decision to the ministry of commerce and industry for consideration and execution. We hope an early decision in this regard,” said an agriculture ministry official, who did not wish to be identified.
The commerce and industry ministry takes the final decision regarding matters related to import and export.
“The FSSAI has also advised the agriculture ministry to issue advisory to the states and importers regarding further import of dairy products from China. Precautionary measures have to be taken in view of scores of children getting ill after taking the contaminated processed milk,” the official told IANS.
FSSAI is an autonomous statutory body set up under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 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.
Ministry of health and family welfare is the administrative agency for FSSAI.