23 September 2015 08:09:53 IST

FSSAI CEO transferred to Niti Aayog

Buzz around changes at the top in FSSAI was somewhat expected, sources say

Yudhvir Singh Malik, CEO of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, has been transferred in less than a year, to Niti Aayog as Additional Secretary. FSSAI hit the headlines for the first time in the country under Malik’s tenure after he decided to recall Maggi in June.

Citing serious health concerns for consumers, he also later widened the probe to other noodles, Pasta and Macaroni brands.

Since then the food safety regulator has been facing criticism from both the government as well as industry circles on the way the issue was handled, testing methodologies as well as the interpretation of the law.

International food packaging companies also said that the food regulator's attitude has been detrimental to ease of doing business and Make in India initiatives.

Sources say buzz around imminent changes at the top in FSSAI, after the Maggi controversy, was gaining ground and somewhat expected.

The Government had also recently appointed Ashish Bahuguna as the Chairman of FSSAI.

Malik, who came on-board the FSSAI in October 2014, is moving out, at a time when the food safety regulator is in the process of overhauling regulations and has less than a dozen drafts notifications - from new toxins and contaminants standards to food recall procedure - up on its website.

The other peeve point of the industry against FSSAI has been the product approval advisory, which was recently quashed by the Supreme Court.

Though under Malik, the food safety regulator had started drawing up lists and started putting up information on the complete journey and procedures of product approval on the FSSAI website.

In a letter to the stakeholders on the issue written in May, Malik had said: “As a regulator, the FSSAI is committed to support the ‘ease of doing business’ but without ignoring its mandate of ensuring safe food for the millions of this country.”