PCI urges govt to include B Pharm as one of the qualifications for food safety officers under FSS rules

With a view to address the mounting issue of lack of employment among pharmacy graduates, the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) will soon send a high level representation asking the central government to include B Pharm as one of the qualifications required for the post of food safety officers under the Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act, which came into force in the country last year.

According to sources, the PCI will soon send a representation to the union health ministry urging them to make certain amendments in the provisions relating to qualification requirements for food safety officers in the Food Safety and Standards (FSS) rules. This demand comes in the wake of increasing incidences where pharmacy graduates were found to be unemployed in the country in spite of having a valid degree and requisite qualification.

Interestingly, under the provisions of the the previous Act, i.e. Prevention of Food Adulteration (PFA) Act 1954, Rules 1955 that governed the food safety issues of the country till recently, B Pharm was included as one of the qualifications required for the post of food safety inspectors. However, with the implementation of the FSS Rules, things became complicated for pharmacy graduates as the requirement of B Pharm graduate was completely removed from the present Rules of the Act.

According to Dr Hemant Koshia, executive committee (EC) member of the PCI, “There are many issues that are affecting the growth of pharmacy in the country at present, and one that tops the list is unemployment among pharmacy graduates. It is really disturbing to know that our burden has been  increased by such decisions that are taken by the Government adding to our present woes while we are trying to address the issue. Considering the current issue of unemployment among the many pharmacy graduates it is imperative on the part of the government to take steps to amend the current rule by modifying and including pharmacy graduates with B Pharm degree for the post of food safety inspectors.”

He further informed that it is essentials to understand that a pharmacy graduate not only has a requisite degree but also has the required training to handle the responsibility of a food safety inspector. Most importantly, they also have the much needed talent through four years of training that will help the government to designate new functionaries, introduce various new provisions  that help upgrade their regulatory institutions.