INDIA – The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has extended the compliance timeline by commercial feeds/feed materials manufacturers to adhere with the standards prescribed by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) up to January 1, 2021.

The regulated feeds are those intended for meat and milk producing animals and initial compliance date was meant to be July 27, 2020, indicates the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in a GAIN report.

The new compliance duration has been extended following requests from industry stakeholders as they deal with the current COVID-19 situation and subsequent lockdown orders issued by the Government of India, reports USDA.

According to reports by The New Indian Express, in October last year, a national level survey revealed the presence of Aflatoxin M1, a cancer-causing content in milk samples from Tamil Nadu and a few other States. It is suspected that fungus infected cattle feed could be the source of carcinogens.

Followed by this, In December 2019 FSSAI issued guidelines requiring commercial feeds/feed materials intended for food producing animals to comply with the relevant BIS standards, and to be manufactured, imported, distributed and sold only with BIS Certification Mark.

“In recent instances it has been noted that foods of animal origin are at times found to be non-compliant with the relevant food quality and safety standards laid down under the Food Safety and Standard Act, 2006 with respect to pesticides, heavy metals and Aflatoxin M1.

“The major source of these contaminants is largely through feed and fodder,” stated FSSAI in the directive.

The guidelines also noted that implementation will start six months from the date of issue of the notification, i.e. June 10, 2020.

In January 27, 2020 FSSAI amended its guidelines to supersede the earlier guidelines issued on December 10, 2019, and noted that the directive is for commercial feeds intended for cattle.

In other related news, the FSSAI has issued directions extending the date for the display of “Date of Manufacturing” and “Best before Date” in the case of non-packaged or loose sweets sold openly in sweet shops to 1 October 2020 from 1 August 2020.

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