Chennai: The Madras high court has ordered notice to the Union government on a petition challenging the latest food safety rules seeking certification mandatory to sell organic produce even in domestic market.
In the petition, farmer Selvam Ramaswamy of Erode sought the court to declare the Food Safety and Standards (Organic Foods) Regulation, 2017, notified on January 2 to be ultra vires of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, and unconstitutional.
According to him, under the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP), certification of the organic farming process, which commences from the seeding stage is mandatory only for those who export their produce, in all other cases it is only voluntary under the Act.
Meanwhile, the Union government on January 2, notified the Regulation which states that even individual farmers who sell their produce in the domestic market must also take the certification.
He said this would be tedious process and financially not viable for small farmers. When the matter came up for hearing a division bench of Justice S. Manikumar and Justice Subramonium Prasad directed the Centre to file its reply to the plea in three weeks.