THE PREVENTION OF FOOD ADULTERATION ACT, 1954
Food is one of the basic necessities for sustenance of life. Pure, fresh and healthy diet is most essential for the health of the people. It is no wonder to say that community health is national wealth.
Adulteration of food-stuffs was so rampant, widespread and persistent that nothing short of a somewhat drastic remedy in the form of a comprehensive legislation became the need of the hour. To check this kind of anti-social evil a concerted and determined onslaught was launched by the Government by introduction of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Bill in the Parliament to herald an era of much needed hope and relief for the consumers at large.
STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONs
Laws existed in a number of States in India for the prevention of adulteration of food- stuffs, but they lacked uniformity having been passed at different times without mutual consultation between States. The need for Central legislation for the whole country in this matter has been felt since 1937 when a Committee appointed by the Central Advisory Board of Health recommended this step. ‘Adulteration of food-stuffs and other goods’ is now included in the Concurrent List (III) in the Constitution of India. It has, therefore, become possible for the Central Government to enact an all India legislation on this subject. The Bill replaces all local food adulteration laws where they exist and also applies to those States where there are no local laws on the subject. Among others, it provides for —
(i) a Central Food Laboratory to which food samples can be referred to for final opinion in disputed cases (clause 4),
(ii) a Central Committee for Food Standards consisting of representatives of Central and State Governments to advise on matters arising from the administration of the Act (clause 3), and
(iii) the vesting in the Central Government of the rule-making power regarding standards of quality for the articles of food and certain other matters (clause 22).
ACT 37 OF 1954
The Prevention of Food Adulteration Bill was passed by both the house of Parliament and received the assent of the President on 29th September, 1954. It came into force on Ist June, 1955 as THE PREVENTION OF FOOD ADULTERATION ACT, 1954 (37 of 1954).
LIST OF ADAPTATION ORDER AND AMENDING ACTs
1. The Adaptation of Laws (No.3) Order, 1956.
2. The Prevention of Food Adulteration (Amendment) Act, 1964 (49 of 1964).
3. The Prevention of Food Adulteration (Amendment) Act, 1971 (41 of 1971).
4. The Prevention of Food Adulteration (Amendment) Act, 1976 (34 of 1976).
5. The Prevention of Food Adulteration (Amendment) Act, 1986 (70 of 1986).
Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954
(37 OF 1954)
[29th September, 1954
An Act to make provision for the prevention of adulteration of food.
Be it enacted by Parliament in the Fifth Year of the Republic of India as follows: —
Short title, extent and commencement —
(1) This Act may be called the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954.
(2) It extends to the whole of India .
(3) It shall come into force on such date2 as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.
2. Definitions —
In this Act unless the context otherwise requires,—
(i) "adulterant" means any material which is or could be employed for the purposes of adulteration;
(ia) "adulterated"—an article of food shall be deemed to be adulterated—
(a) if the article sold by a vendor is not of the nature, substance or quality demanded by the purchaser and is to his prejudice, or is not of the nature, substance or quality which it purports or is represented to be;
(b) if the article contains any other substance which affects, or if the article is so processed as to affect, injuriously the nature, substance or quality thereof;
(c) if any inferior or cheaper substance has been substituted wholly or in part for the article so as to affect injuriously the nature, substance or quality thereof;
(d) if any constituent of the article has been wholly or in part abstracted so as to affect injuriously the nature, substance or quality thereof ;
(e) if the article had been prepared, packed or kept under insanitary conditions whereby it has become contaminated or injurious to health;
(f) if the article consists wholly or in part of any filthy, putrid, , rotten, decomposed or diseased animal or vegetable substance or is insect-infested or is otherwise unfit for human consumption;
(g) if the article is obtained from a diseased animal;
(h) if the article contains any poisonous or other ingredient which renders it injurious to health;
(i) if the container of the article is composed, whether wholly or in part, of any poisonous or deleterious substance which renders its contents injurious to health;
(j) if any colouring matter other than that prescribed in respect thereof is present in the article, or if the amounts of the prescribed colouring matter which is present in the article are not within the prescribed limits of variability;
(k) if the article contains any prohibited preservative or permitted preservative in excess of the prescribed limits;
(l) if the quality or purity of the article falls below the prescribed standard or its constituents are present in quantities not within the prescribed limits of variability, but which renders it injurious to health;
(m) if the quality or purity of the article falls below the prescribed standard or its constituents are present in quantities not within the prescribed limits of variability but which does not render it injurious to health:
Provided that, where the quality or purity of the article, being primary food, has fallen below the prescribed standards or its constituents are present in quantities not within the prescribed limits of variability in either case, solely due to natural causes and beyond the control of human agency, then, such article shall not be deemed to be adulterated within the meaning of this sub-clause.
Explanation — Where two or more articles of primary food are mixed together and the resultant article of food—
(a) is stored, sold or distributed under a name which denotes the ingredients thereof; and
(b) is not injurious to health, then, such resultant article shall not be deemed to be adulterated within the meaning of this clause;
(ii) "Central Food Laboratory" means any laboratory or institute established or specified under section 4;
(iii) "Committee" means the Central Committee for Food Standards constituted under section 3;
(iv) "Director of the Central Food Laboratory" means the person appointed by the Central Government by notification in the Official Gazette as the Director of the Central Food Laboratory and includes any person appointed by the Central Government in like manner to perform all or any of the functions of the Director under this Act:
Provided that no person who has any financial interest in the manufacture, import or sale of any article of food shall be appointed to be a Director under this clause ;
(v) "food" means any article used as food or drink for human consumption other than drugs and water and includes—
(a) any article which ordinarily enters into, or is used in the composition or preparation of, human food,
(b) any flavouring matter or condiments, and
(c) any other article which the Central Government may, having regard to its use, nature, substance or quality, declare, by notification in the Official Gazette, as food for the purposes of this Act;
(vi) "Food (Health) Authority" means the Director of Medical and Health Services or the Chief Officer in-charge of Health administration in a State, by whatever designation he is known, and includes any officer empowered by the Central Government or the State Government, by notification in the Official Gazette, to exercise the powers and perform the duties of the Food (Health) Authority under this Act with respect to such local area as may be specified in the notification;
(vii) "local area" means any area, whether urban or rural, declared by the Central Government or the State Government by notification in the Official Gazette, to be a local area for the purposes of this Act;
(viii) "local authority" means in the case of :—
(1) a local area which is—
(a) a municipality, the municipal board or municipal corporation;
(b) a cantonment, the cantonment authority ;
(c) a notified area, the notified area committee;
(2) any other local area, such authority as may be prescribed by the Central Government or the State Government under this Act;
(viiia) "Local (Health) Authority", in relation to a local area, means the officer appointed by the Central Government or the State Government, by notification in the Official Gazette, to be in-charge of Health administration in such area with such designation as may be specified therein:
(viiib) "manufacture" includes any process incidental or ancillary to the manufacture of an article of food;
(ix) "misbranded"— an article of food shall be deemed to be misbranded—
(a) if it is an imitation of, or is a substitute for, or resembles in a manner likely to deceive, another article of food under the name of which it is sold, and is not plainly and conspicuously labelled so as to indicate its true character;
(b) if it is falsely stated to be the product of any place or country;
(c) if it is sold by a name which belongs to another article of food;
(d) if it is so coloured, flavoured or coated, powdered or polished that the fact that the article is damaged is concealed or if the article is made to appear better or of greater value than it really is;
(e) if false claims are made for it upon the label or otherwise;
(f) if, when sold in packages which have been sealed or prepared by or at the instance of the manufacturer or producer and which bear his name and address, the contents of each package are not conspicuously and correctly stated on the outside thereof within the limits of variability prescribed under this Act;
(g) if the package containing it, or the label on the package bears any statement, design or device regarding the ingredients or the substances contained therein, which is false or misleading in any material particular; or if the package is otherwise deceptive with respect to its contents;
(i) if it purports to be, or is represented as being, for special dietary uses, unless its label bears such information as may be prescribed concerning its vitamin, mineral, or other dietary properties in order sufficiently to inform its purchaser as to its value for such uses;
(j) if it contains any artificial flavouring, artificial colouring or chemical preservative, without a declaratory label stating that fact, or in contravention of the requirements of this Act or rules made thereunder;
(k) if it is not labelled in accordance with the requirements of this Act or rules made thereunder;
(x) "package" means a box, bottle, casket, tin, barrel, case, receptacle, sack, bag, wrapper or other thing in which an article of food is placed or packed;
(xi) "premises" include any shop, stall, or place where any article of food is sold or manufactured or stored for sale;
(xii) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;
(xiia) "primary food" means any article of food, being a produce of agriculture or horticulture in its natural form;
(xiii) "sale" with its grammatical variations and cognate expressions, means the sale of any article of food, whether for cash or on credit or by way of exchange and whether by wholesale or retail, for human consumption or use, or for analysis, and includes an agreement for sale, an offer for sale, the exposing for sale or having in possession for sale of any such article, and includes also an attempt to sell any such article;
(xiv) "sample" means a sample of any article of food taken under the provisions of this Act or of any rules made thereunder;
(xv) the word "unwholesome" and "noxious" when used in relation to an article of food mean respectively that the article is harmful to health or repugnant to human use.
(i) Even mere addition of salt to chili powder makes it injurious to health as it was still considered adulterated within the meaning of sub-clause (m) of clause (ia) of section 2 of the Act on the ground that the quantity and purity of the article falls below the prescribed standard ; Gauranga Aich v. State of Assam, 1990 (2) FAC 41.
(ii) Liquor (including country liquor) is an article used as a drink and is meant for human consumption and for the purposes of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 is included in the definition of "food" under clause (v) of section 2; State of Himachal Pradesh v. Raja Ram, 1990 (2) FAC 231.
2A. Rule of construction —
Any reference in this Act to a law which is not in force in the State of Jammu and Kashmir shall, in relation to that State, be construed as a reference to the corresponding law, if any, in force in that State.
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