Large-scale test­ing to curb agri-pro­duce adul­ter­ation: HC

DNA (Delhi) - - DELHI - Im­age for rep­re­sen­ta­tion

The Delhi High Court on Thurs­day sug­gested that mea­sures such as large-scale test­ing and send­ing back adul­ter­ated food prod­ucts to the man­u­fac­turer or farmer should be taken to curb adul­ter­ation of eat­a­bles, es­pe­cially fruits and veg­eta­bles, by chem­i­cals.

A bench of Jus­tices San­jiv Khanna and Chan­der Shekhar said, “some­thing has to be done” to en­sure that peo­ple do not con­sume adul­ter­ated prod­ucts as it could lead to “ex­tremely se­ri­ous health prob­lems”.

The court said test­ing on a vast scale was the only way to find out if the adul­ter­ation, like use of ripen­ing agents like cal­cium car­bide, was be­ing done by the farm­ers or the re­tail­ers/traders.

It said the Delhi gov­ern­ment’s Agri­cul­tural Pro­duce Mar­ket Com­mit­tee (APMC) can carry out the test­ing ex­er­cise by de­ploy­ing mo­bile vans which can go from place to place in the na­tional cap­i­tal and check the agri­cul­tural pro­duce com­ing here from other states.

“Check­ing and test­ing has to be on a vast scale and on a daily ba­sis. High time

we have the mo­bile vans to go from place to place for check­ing and test­ing,” the bench said.

The court also said that the Delhi gov­ern­ment can also take help of pri­vate agen­cies work­ing in the field of agri­cul­ture.

It asked the gov­ern­ment to con­sider the fea­si­bil­ity of hav­ing a sys­tem to test 10-20 per cent of the food that comes into Delhi from out­side. The bench di­rected the Delhi gov­ern­ment to file an up to date sta­tus re­port in­di­cat­ing de­tails of the sam­pling and test­ing car­ried out by the food safety in­spec­tors. With the di­rec­tion, the court listed the mat­ter for fur­ther hear­ing on Septem­ber 27.

The court was hear­ing a PIL ini­ti­ated by it on its own and two other pleas by pri­vate in­di­vid­u­als seek­ing di­rec­tions to the au­thor­i­ties to take steps to curb the use of pes­ti­cides.

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