Query on adulterated food
New Delhi: A parliamentary panel examining the functioning of India's food safety authority has sought an explanation for low conviction rates in cases of adulteration and misbranding of food items and criticised the slow implementation of proposals to upgrade state food-testing laboratories.
The parliamentary standing committee on health has asked the health ministry to determine whether the low conviction rates in cases of misbranded or adultered food are due to shortage of human resources or lax enforcement or inadequate regulations and take remedial steps.
In its report on the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), an agency under the health ministry, tabled in Parliament on Wednesday, the committee pointed out that of 72,499 food samples analysed during 2015-16, 16,133 were found adulterated or misbranded. But authorities filed 1,450 criminal and 8,529 civil cases, leading to conviction in 540 cases. During 2016-17, 18,325 of 78,340 samples were found adulterated or misbranded, but 13,080 cases were filed, leading to 1,605 convictions.
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