Drug inspectors assn urges govt to include B Pharm as qualification for food safety officer

Abhidnya Matwankar, MumbaiWednesday, February 9, 2011, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The Drugs Inspectors Welfare Association (DIWA), a government recognized association of drugs inspectors in Maharashtra, has urged the government to include B Pharm as qualification for food safety officer under the Food Safety and Standard Rules 2011 which, the association said, will help to deliver safe and unadulterated food articles to the citizens of this country.

“We feel that it is essential to include the ‘Pharmacy’ as one of the qualification along with above. Graduate in pharmacy (B. Pharm) is one of the qualifications for food inspectors as mentioned in Rule 8 of Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules 1955. Also many of the existing Food Inspectors are B. Pharm by qualification. The said legislation is now being replaced by Food Safety and Standards Rules 2011”, R P Choudhari, president, DIWA said in its memorandum to the government.

As per Rule 2.1.3. of the Food Safety and Standards Rules 2011, a food inspector should posses a degree in food technology or dairy technology or biotechnology or oil technology or agricultural science or veterinary sciences or bio-chemistry or microbiology or masters degree in chemistry from a recognized university, or any other equivalent/recognized qualification notified by the Central Government, or graduate in medicine and has received training in food safety, sampling and surveillance approved for the purpose by the central government or state government.

As pharmacy education covers most of subjects such as human anatomy, physiology and genetics, jurisprudence, analytical chemistry & instrumentation, good manufacturing practices and process control, pharmacology (Effect of Drugs on Human Body), management,” the B. Pharm professionals are believed to be well equipped in the technology as well as forensic part of the enforcement of Food and Drug.

“In view of aforesaid, it is essential to have B. Pharm professionals in the enforcement of Food Safety and Standard Act and Rules, so that Government will be empowered with trained manpower for better confidence in effective enforcement. It will definitely help in fulfilling the objectives of the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006. Therefore we request you to kindly note our objection and also hereby suggest to include ‘Graduate in Pharmacy’ as a one of the qualification for Food Safety officers under Food Safety and Standards Rules 2011”, Choudhari said in its memorandum.