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Swati Rana, Mumbai May 28 , 2016
The Ayurvedic Drugs Manufacturers Association (ADMA) has objected to the draft notification of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for listing Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani (ASU) ingredients in various schedule of FSSAI notification as all the ASU ingredients mentioned in Schedules V, VI and VII of the draft cannot be likened to a food category.

The association has informed the FSSAI that most of the ingredients mentioned in the schedule V, VI and VII of the draft are basically the active ingredients of all ASU products licensed in India either as ASU drugs or ASU Patent & Proprietary Medicines as per the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 & Rules 1945.

A representative from ADMA says, “Ayurvedic texts clearly differentiate between food and drug. Somehow this differentiation between a food and a drug has been missed out in the FSSAI draft. Out of the 313 ingredients of Schedule V- for Plant or Botanical Source ingredients only 71 belong to the food category. In case with Schedule VI (Animal Origin ingredients) there are 7 ingredients out of total 9 which belong to the food category. Lastly in Schedule VII (mineral or Metal source) only 1 ingredient out of total 19 ingredients belongs to food category.”

Further he says, “Remaining ingredients which do not belong to food category cannot be used by the food industry as its usage is against the principle of ayurvedic. The draft of FSSAI is mixing the ayurvedic medicinal herbs with food.”

In the recent meeting with FSSAI and Ministry of Ayush, the ASU industry expressed the problem of export to be faced by them in future and excise duty to be paid by the industry will also be high as the new FSSAI food category will enable excise officials to harass manufacturers of ASU ingredients to pay excise of 12.5 per cent versus present 6 per cent for ASU medicines.

The association has urged the Ayush ministry to remove word ASU from lists V, VI and VII and instead replace them with ingredients mentioned in Schedule I books of the D&C Act-1940 & Rules and to specify parts of plants which can be considered under food category as one part of plant may come under drug category and another under food category, so it is important that the parts are specified.

The association has also requested that medicinal herbs or drugs not to be considered as foods category. The significance of listed ingredients in FSSAI List is that the food industry can manufacture the products without product approval, if the ingredients are listed in FSSAI. Only, if a company wants to use any unlisted product then it has to go through the entire process of product approval.

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