After recent backlash faced by major Indian Honey brands and revelation by the international standards major CSE, FSSAI seem to walk way forward to ensure better and pure honey to the Indian patrons. Enabling pure honey to Indian consumers is a high time necessity, a responsible standard authority knows its importance and has jumped to stop this gastric encroachment brands are posing.
FSSAI has raked up all its food security and adulteration norms and made them way too stringent so that no such cases come again. Regarding the same, authority has roped in Central Bee Research and Training Institute (CBRTI) to analyse a large number of honey samples to collect evidence for any re-examining of the quality.
An official with the FSSAI said that data regarding a large number of samples of honey in India is needed and any re-examination essentially has to be evidence based.
FSSAI, in a reply to FNB News, stated, “FSSAI has contacted CBRTI and all India manufacturers of honey to provide test result data available with them. An institutional study is also being commissioned to take samples from all over the country and get them tested. The data that becomes available will be presented before concerned scientific panels and necessary amendments in thresholds, if needed, will be carried out.”
The Ministry of Agriculture and National Bee Board have also asked FSSAI if any other test methods were available to reliably detect addition of fructose and glucose to honey.
Another official with FSSAI, reiterated that no stone is being left unturned, this time the norms will be un-dupable showing the real concentration of adulteration and purity apart. Official explicitly said that a tracing framework is being developed in collaboration with Ministry of Agriculture.
Also according to the FSSAI, it has issued earlier a direction to import offices to obtain end-user declaration specifically for golden syrup, invert syrup and rice syrup. This order was issued on May 26, 2020). Besides, FSSAI through its regulatory compliance division also issued directions to Food Safety Commissioners of all the states on December 22, 2019, June 18, 2020, and again in December 2020 to enhance surveillance/sampling and enforcement to check the use (for otherwise) of sugar syrups in honey.