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Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai November 12 , 2020
In the wake of a complaint filed by a traditional medicine research organization in Chennai against misappropriation of FSSAI licence by food product manufacturers for selling popular Siddha drugs as food supplements, the national Ayush Drugs Controller has asked the Commissioner of FSSAI in Chennai to take action against misuse of licences by companies of food supplements and neutraceuticals.
 
The office of Dr D C Katoch, the National Ayush Drugs Controller, has written to the FSSAI commissioner that products manufactured under the provisions of Drugs & Cosmetics Act 1940, and Rules 1945 cannot be granted registration or license under FSSAI regulations as food supplements or neutraceuticals as they may otherwise tantamount to misappropriation and misbranding of ASU drugs.
 
The DC wanted the commissioner of FSSAI to stop granting registration/licences to those food products or neutraceuticals which fall in the ambit of ASU drugs under provisions of Drugs & Cosmetics Act 1940 & Rules 1945.
 
The research organization, Centre for Traditional Medicines and Research (CTMR) has apprised the national Ayush drug regulator that some FSSAI licence holders are taking advantage of the present COVID pandemic situation by selling popular Siddha medicines in the name of food supplements. CTMR apprised the Union Ayush Ministry that this kind of misuse of government approvals by food companies will spoil the credibility of the Siddha traditional drugs as well as the dignity of the whole Ayush system.
 
‘Nilavembu kudineer’ and ‘Kabasura kudineer’ are the two traditional Siddha drugs that act as immune modulators. During the present coronavirus pandemic, Kabasura kudinner has got immense popularity for its potential to increase the immunity in human beings and it is being distributed to people in quarantine with mild and moderate COVID symptoms as a protection. These drugs are manufactured under the valid licences of the ISM department. But CTMR has found that several food manufacturing companies are preparing the decoction using these drugs and marketing it with a label ‘Neem Leaves Soup’ under FSSAI approvals.

Dr T Thirunarayanan, secretary of the research entity, told Pharmabiz that their market research wing has identified some FSSAI licence holders who are misappropriating their licences for manufacturing and selling Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani (ASU) drugs as food supplements. He said even some companies are exporting these drugs to foreign countries branding food items.

“Some companies in Tamil Nadu are selling Kabasura Kudineer under food safety licence to different countries among the Indian diaspora. Through online also they sell this product. Once it comes to the notice of the FDA authorities in foreign countries, they will register case against misbranding and it will affect the credibility of the Siddha system in general and of the dignity of the whole Ayush products in particular,” said Dr Thirunarayanan.

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