New Delhi, June 3 (FN Agency) The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Friday issued notice to the Union Health & Family Welfare Ministry, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and the Drugs Controller General of India over alleged production of spurious drugs in the name of food supplements by nutraceutical companies in Himachal Pradesh. The Commission has issued notices to the Secretary, Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, the Chairperson, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), and the Drugs Controller General of India, calling for a detailed report in the matter within four weeks.The reports should 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.
The Commission has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report that the Baddi Industrial area of Solan in Himachal Pradesh has become a production hub of spurious vitamins, syrups, and drugs in the name of food supplements by the nutraceutical companies. 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, NHRC said in a statement.According to the media report, carried on May 30, 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.