Only 0.66 per cent of the food and fruit products tested by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) at ports and international airports in the last four years were found to be of inferior quality and not allowed into the country.
Responding to an RTI application filed by The Indian Express, the FSSAI said it had tested 2,60,457 samples of fruit and food products between 2011 and 2015, out of which only 1,720, or 0.66 per cent, were found to be of inferior quality.
“The imported products not complying with FSS Act 2006… were not allowed into the country. Hence, no penalty (was) imposed against foreign companies for supplying inferior food/fruit products and no action (was) taken against companies whose imported products were found to be of inferior quality,” FSSAI’s assistant director (imports) Sabita Jaiswal said.
Though the FSSAI did not provide details of items that were rejected, sources said a substantial number of these came from European Union countries.
Items not allowed to enter the country include garlic powder, white onion powder, fruit drinks, chocolates and dietary supplements, including a popular brand of protein powder. Also on the list are soybean oil, spices, additives, fruits, peach syrup, jack cheese (an American semi-hard cheese) and a gummy candy brand.
After the FSS Act was enacted in 2006, authorities started examining consignments in 2011 at international airports in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Cochin and Chennai, seaports in Mumbai, Kolkata, Cochin and Chennai, and at Inland Container Depots in Delhi’s Patparganj and Tughlakabad.