Food Safety: obstacles & measures

To curb the extent of adulteration in foods, the govt has to take the prime initiative — strengthening the guidelines and increasing the punishment for such heinious acts. Then the govt will have to publicise the steps through mass media by engaging journalists and social workers. The govt offices and agencies concerned should also keep the accesses open for the people so that they can easily file complaints and get justice.

On Jan 23, the food minister declared a govt plan to establish a food safety authority with six wings countrywide. It’d have a chairman, a CEO and five members.

Meanwhile, the minister said that the punishment of 2 year jail for adulteration would be increased to 10 years whereas there have been massive public outcry for “death penalty” considering the health hazards brcause of such contamination in foods!

I also appreciate the High Court’s recent verdict on adulteration in fruits ensuring capital punishment. 

But still, we’re in danger despite the existence of many significant laws and mechanisms since their “enforcement is inefficient”. There have been widespread corruption, irregularities and bribery in this “sensitive industry” — food items — for which, the unscrupulous businessmen are operating fearlessly.

Meanwhile, the measures commonly taken by the govt offices — BSTI, law, commerce and food ministries — and law enforcers to prevent food adulteration are inadequate and mostly done without coordination. This sector also lacks a comprehensive initiative and visionary policy.

Media reports siggest that contamunation takes place in different stages of a food — farmers use pesticides and fertilisers, wholesalers and retailers use color, hormones and other chemicals for ripening and preservation. These chemicals harms human bodies and the environment heavily.

So the measures should be “realistic & effective” to speed-up the fight against adulteration. The people doing business with foods and contaminating those in no way can be relieved or set free. For this a serious crime, we, the people should also be proactive in holding the culprits and handing them over to law enforcers notifying the journalists to ensure accountability of the lawmen in investigation and carrying out awareness campaigns. More people should engage themselves with the pressure groups working to prevent food adulteration. Meanwhile, organic fertilisers should be marketed and promoted more to replace the chemicals.


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