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FSSAI Imposes A Ban on the Use of Colistin Effective Immediately
Colistin is an antibiotic that has been used for non-therapeutic purposes in animals for growth promotion and prevention of diseases in animal-based food production. Colistin has been in use for these purposes in India since 2014, however, in recent times, the emergence of colistin-resistance has been a major concern.
Keeping in mind the rate with which colistin-resistant bacteria were found in food samples like meat, mutton, and other animal-based products, The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) released a draft on August 8, 2019, preventing the use of colistin in food.
The draft Food and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins, and Residues) Amendment Regulations, 2019 has been framed by FSSAI consuming the power conferred under Section 92 of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. The draft regulation is under the course of draft notification and consideration of comments, if any, after which, the finalization will be done in some time.
Almost at the same time, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has broadcasted the notification dated July 19, 2019, prohibiting the process of manufacturing, sale, and distribution of colistin along with prohibiting its formulations in animal-based food production, animal-based processes like aquafarming and as animal feed supplements, effective immediately.
In consideration of this issue by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, on August 8, 2019, FSSAI has ordered to implement the above regulations with immediate effect and has imposed a ban on the use of colistin. This draft regulation will add colistin to the list of the drugs banned to be used in the processing of animal products like meat, eggs, poultry, and seafood. The tolerance limit of colistin will be removed from the list of drugs and antibiotics that can be used in food.
The draft regulation may be called Food and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins, and Residues) Amendment Regulations, 2019 with the following amendments made in In the Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins, and Residues) Regulations, 2011, in regulation 2.3 relating to ‘Residues’, in sub-regulation 2.3.2
a) In clause (2), after item no. 19, the following shall be inserted, namely, ’20. Colistin.
b) In clause (4), in the table, serial number 3 relating to ‘Colistin’ and the entries relating thereto in columns (3) and (4) shall be omitted.
Though the draft notification will be put in place in some time, FSSAI has made the regulations operational from August 8, 2019.