DIMAPUR, May 25: Nagaland food safety commissioner Y Kikheto Sema called for tackling the influx of sub-standard food items into Nagaland from Myanmar on an urgent basis.
“Nagaland shares an extensive international boundary with Myanmar and as such, large adulterated, misbranded and sub-standard food items are being brought into the state which needs to be tackled urgently,” Sema said at the 40th national meeting of the central advisory committee of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) at Food and Drug Administration Bhawan in New Delhi on Thursday.
He added that topographical challenges, along with poor road connectivity in the far-flung areas of the state, cause big hurdles while sending and receiving samples, resulting in delays in appropriate legal action.
Sema highlighted that there is only one state public health laboratory established at Kohima in 1983.
“This is the only food testing laboratory in the state notified by the FSSAI under sub-section 43 of the Food Safety and Standard Act, 2006 for food certification and accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories in chemical testing as per global standard ISO/IEC 17025:2017,” he said.
While acknowledging the constant support and guidance of the FSSAI, the official urged it to consider setting up five basic food laboratories to cater to the need of the whole state for effective implementation of food safety standards.
Sema also requested to provide five modified food safety on wheels (MFSWs, also called food testing mobile vans, as the existing three MFSWs cannot effectively cater to the needs of the state.