You must have noticed off late in India that you are not seeing too many imported or even Indian brands of Gluten Free/other allergen free products on the Supermarket shelves.
Many of those products are a succour for many of us Celiacs and others who have major medical food intolerances. It is easy to have a packet of Schar or Orgran goodies while we are on the road or even in a business meeting or at work.
You may ask why is every store out of stock ? This is why
No gluten free products can now be imported to India without the product being approved from Product Approval Department of FSSAI . Unfortunately this is a long and tedious process with some herculean standards. While I am impressed they have raised their standards, why cannot they make this a systematic easy process. Products worth crores are lying at the ports because they are not yet cleared . Who is losing out?
Celiacs like me, People with Allergies and Gluten sensitivity, Gluten Free Manufacturers and all Importers.
Now what about gluten free products made in India and sourced too ?
FSSAI raised the jurisdiction of licensing, Ok! it made licensing compulsory if one was a Gluten Free manufacturer and then apply for central licensing. Which is great because only people who really want to help people with such products will stick around!
Well, it does not stop there…
FSSAI has now come about saying you need to approve every product which is manufactured. I am told by manufacturers that it comes to about INR 1 Lakh to get one product approved !! And if you want to declare a natural gluten free product that also you cannot because you need it to be approved or well it is illegal. They are thwarting innovation and creating chaos. I mean, come on do you know why people need those products in the first place. If you want a Draft Policy law makers and officials let us know …people like me have spend years researching standards for years and studied how other countries put all these food policies into place.
Few companies in India are doing it the right way especially Wheafree where every product is tested in the lab. Some of us stopped relying on imported products to work with grains sourced in India and to also support Indian Gluten Free manufacturers?
What can a Celiac and Baker like me do? Will the companies have to shut down? What is our future, we need safe food as Celiacs!
If any of you know Government officials or FSSAI please do something about this. ” Highlight our problem…Let us live’ it is not like it is not challenging enough now:(