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Food regulator FSSAI today released a unified regulation on organic foods to ensure that these food items are actually organic. At the Organic World Congress held in Greater Noida, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) unveiled a common logo for organic foods as a symbol of authenticity and trust. Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh launched the Food Safety and Standards (Organic Foods) Regulations 2017, along with the 'Jaivik Bharat' logo and 'Indian Organic Integrity Database Portal' at the event, FSSAI said in a statement. The portal, developed by FSSAI along with APEDA and PGS- India, would help consumers verify the authenticity of organic foods. The regulation for organic foods covers under its ambit two existing systems of organic certification - National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) of APEDA, Department of Commerce and Participatory Guarantee System for India (PGS-India) of Agriculture Ministry. The regulation provides for recognition of other certification systems in the future. FSSAI is mandated to regulate organic food in the country under the provisions of Section 22 of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. The regulator said that it had initiated the development of this regulation about a year ago, through extensive consultations with various stakeholders including related ministries, agencies, NGOs, farmer organisations etc. A draft regulation was notified seeking comments from stakeholders and only after taking all inputs into consideration, the current regulation has been released. Under this regulation, any foods offered or promoted for sale as organic foods are required to comply with all the requirements of NPOP or PGS-India or any other certification system that may be approved by FSSAI in future. "However, direct sales of organic food by small farmers, producer or producer organisation to the end-consumer is exempt from this requirement," it said. All organic foods under the regulation have to comply with other regulations of FSSAI as applicable.
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