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UP, Jharkhand and TN worst in food adulteration: Ministry to LS

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on August 20, 2019 Published on August 20, 2019

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare told the Lok Sabha that the responsibility of enforcing the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 lies primarily with the States   -  The Hindu

Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu are the three worst States when it comes to food adulteration.

According to the data based on the Public Laboratory Testing Report, presented by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in the Lok Sabha last month, 51,803 food samples were analysed in Uttar Pradesh during three years (2016-17–2018-19). Of these, 45 per cent were contaminated, non-confirming and misbranded. Uttar Pradesh is the worst among big States, followed by Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu.

During the same period, over one thousand samples were analysed in Jharkhand and 16,135 in Tamil Nadu. While 40 per cent of the Jharkhand samples were adulterated, while it was 37 per cent for Tamil Nadu.

Adulterated samples

Out of the total 65,028 adulterated samples detected in India in three years, 36 per cent (23,441) were in Uttar Pradesh and 13 per cent (8,698) in Punjab. Gujarat, Goa and Bihar reported less than 10 per cent food adulteration. In Kerala, 20 per cent of the food samples were found contaminated, while in Karnataka it was 12 per cent.

The number of food adulteration cases has increased during the last three years. Out of the total samples analysed in 2016-17, 23.4 per cent was found adulterated, while in 2018-19, 26.4 per cent samples were contaminated.

Over 45,000 civil and criminal cases were launched and conviction was reported in 7,265 cases.

The Ministry told the House that “the responsibility of implementing and enforcing the Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act, 2006 lies primarily with the States. Regular surveillance monitoring, inspection and random sampling of food products, including fruits and vegetables, are being carried out by the Food Safety Officers of States and action is taken as per the provisions of the FSS Act against defaulting food business operators.

“Every State has appointed a Commissioner of Food Safety as head of the State enforcement machinery, along with district-wise Designated Officers and Food Safety Officers, to monitor and ensure the availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption.

“In order to ensure the availability of good quality food products to consumers and for keeping a check on the problems of food adulteration, the presence of residual pesticides beyond maximum residue limits, FSSAI has been advising State food authorities from time to time to keep a strict vigil by regularly drawing food samples from all sources, viz manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers and to take strict action against offenders under the provisions of FSS Act, 2006,” the Ministry stated.

Published on August 20, 2019
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