Direct selling industry cheers FSSAI directive on nutraceuticals

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has restricted enforcement activity against nutraceuticals and health supplements to testing of products till new standards are notified, bringing cheer to the direct selling industry.

The direct selling industry, which thrives on marketing and distribution of niche products, has welcomed the FSSAI's recent directive to restrict enforcement activities by the state food safety offices.

"The recent directive from the FSSAI has pumped a breath of life into the direct selling industry, which has been facing issues in different jurisdictions due to lack of clarity," said secretary general of India Direct Selling Association (IDSA), Amit Chadha.

"In spite of complying with all that is necessary, our member companies kept facing enforcement actions in various jurisdictions across the country. We are thankful to FSSAI to have come up with this directive, which will do a world of good to direct selling industry," added Amit Chadha.

Some of the IDSA member companies that deal in specialised nutritional products, health supplements, edible oils, etc, come under the purview of Food Safety and Standards Act.

Direct sellers, however, sell food products that are pre-packaged and sold in a sealed condition to them.

As per the new FSSAI directive, till the time the Standards of Nutraceuticals, Food Supplements, and Health supplements gets notified, the enforcement activities against such FBO's should be restricted to test of nutraceuticals, food supplements and health supplements with respect to requirements as mentioned in the 9th September draft notification.

Direct selling agents are, in fact, the primary consumers of the products. They only distribute to other consumers. Chadha said the direct selling industry will immensely benefit from the recent FSSAI directive as it will make it easier for independent businesses to sell their products and transact business in the interim.

"All our distributors will be encouraged by this positive move by the FSSAI, which in the interest of the consumers as well for the Direct Selling business," added Chadha.