MPs seek stringent laws to check food adulteration


MPs seek stringent laws to check food adulteration
New Delhi, May 5: Terming rising incidents of food adulteration as a “serious matter”, Rajya Sabha members, including those from the BJP, today asked the government to make stringent laws to check the menace.

During the Zero Hour, Naresh Agrawal (SP) raised the issue of growing menace of adulteration in food products including essential items such as milk, as also in fruits and vegetables.

“It is a very serious issue. There are growing cases of liver and heart diseases as well as cancer and the reason for this is food adulteration. The current laws are not very strict to check this menace,” he added.

Agrawal said there are reports of plastic rice imported from China being mixed in rice and sold in the market as well as synthetic milk being sold in the national capital.

Several MPs, including those from the BJP, associated with Agrawal’s concerns.

Even Deputy Chairman P J Kurien supported the issue saying that there was a rise in cancer cases and the reason for this adulteration in food items.

“It is a very, very serious matter. Report it to the Minister concerned and come out with a legislation which has more teeth,” Kurien said.

In its report on the Consumer Protection Bill 2015 tabled in Parliament last month, a Parliamentary Standing Committee suggested legal teeth to advertising watchdog ASCI to curb misleading advertisements and proposing severe penalties, imprisonment and cancellation of licenses of those involved in food adulteration.

According to a report on public laboratories released by the Food Safety Standards Authority of India in December last year, every fifth sample of food items tested by public food safety labs have been found “adulterated and misbranded”, with maximum cases in UP followed by Punjab and Madhya Pradesh.