Unforgivable Negligence

Unforgivable Negligence

The Food Safety Department has let off hundreds of food business operators even though their products were found to be highly adulterated and in violation of the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA). Furthermore , the food wing of the Drug and Food Control Organisation (DFCO) has failed to confiscate unsafe and substandard food items from the market despite laboratory confirmations indicting them. This laxity in an area that affects public health and hygiene of the masses is not only inexplicable but also amounts to near criminal negligence. It does not constitute rocket science to posit that adulterated food items cause assorted forms and varieties of diseases, some of them fatal, like cancer. The reasons for taking recourse to adulteration are obvious: vendors and food establishment owners want to scrimp , save costs and thus cut corners by buying cheap and even adulterated inputs into the making of these food items. These are then passed on to unwary consumers. While adulteration is not peculiar to Kashmir and happens, in different and various permutations and combinations and degrees in many parts of the world, it is more problematic in Kashmir given the laxity of the administrations. Letting food adulterers off the hook after paying a small penalty constitutes a case in point here. This approach does not make food adulterers a price and may even constitute an incentive to carry on with their ungainly and unsavory activities. It would appear that the members of the administration who are responsible for ensuring food standards work by the book. That is, the extant law appears to allow them to merely let off the unethical and unsavory characters to get away by following the implementation of the law in letter. But, in the process, the spirit is abrogated given that food adulterers can actually carry on with their past practices. Given the public health connotations and implications involved, it behooves the Food Safety Department to actually conform and correspond to the spirit of extant standards. The problem is both of an input one and an output one. Food standards in Kashmir can actually be improved by tightening and monitoring the entire value chain , in both letter and spirit, even if it means cancelling licenses of egregious and serial abusers. The effects of adulterated food take a long time to pan out but both during the gestation period and when these health issues become manifest, they cause immense problems. It is then incumbent upon the administrations to take serious note of this issue and enact measures that redound to overall public health of the masses.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.