- Food adulteration has been highly rampant in India
- “Some of the most common adulterated foods are milk and milk products, atta, edible oils, cereals, condiments”
- The case of food adulteration that took the country by storm was the case of Maggi Noodles, India’s most popular snack
New Delhi, August 1, 2017: The definition of food adulteration according to the Food and Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is, “The addition or subtraction of any substance to or from food so that the natural composition and quality of food substance is affected.”
Food adulteration has been highly rampant in India. India, on a usual basis, witnesses a number of cases of people getting affected by consuming adulterated food products.
According to FSSAI, “Some of the most common adulterated foods are milk and milk products, atta, edible oils, cereals, condiments, pulses, coffee, tea, confectionery, baking powder, vinegar, besan and curry powder.”
The case of food adulteration that took the country by storm was the case of the very loved, Maggi Noodles. Maggi Noodles was found to contain a higher than the permissible level of lead and MSG. The entire nation was shocked to know that India’s most popular snack is not safe for consumption. Nutritionists suggest that consumption of lead for a long period of time can have hazardous consequences on the body.
“The Annual Public Laboratory Testing Report for 2014-15 brought out by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) says that of the 49,290 samples of food items it tested, 8,469, nearly one-fifth, were found adulterated or misbranded,” suggests a report in The Hindu.
The worst part is, despite the potential of disastrous consequences of adulteration, the government is very lenient in providing punishment for the crime. Even if the culprit is caught, the system isn’t strict enough and one can easily get away.
“The reason behind the increasing trend in food adulteration practices is the poor ethical framework and lack of values. Government laws have their limits, it is the values in people that automatically resist them to do unethical practices,” says Rahul Gupta who works for the Food Corporation of India.
“In regard to milk, the demand and supply gap, and the ease with which it can be handled is what makes it the softest target of adulteration,” he mentioned.
Sections 272 and 273 of the Indian Penal Code deal with the offense of Adulteration of Food and Drink Intended for Sale entailing a punishment of six months imprisonment or payment of Rs. 1000 fine in case of a person adulterating some food or drink, as an attempt to make the food or drink noxious, intending to sell it, or knowing the likeliness of the same being sold as a food or drink.
There is a good probability that a lot of what you eat is adulterated. Therefore, it becomes essential to cross check the purity of the things you consume. The situation is, indeed grave and one needs to be watchful!
-by Samiksha Goel of Newsgram. Twitter @goel_samiksha