FSSAI report reveals the doubling of adulteration cases in the last eight years in its annual report. Finds 28% of food samples adulterated.
28% of Samples Non-Confirming to Standards
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India found a consistent increase in food adulteration cases in the country. National Accreditation Board for Testing & Calibration Laboratories tested 1,06,459 food samples during 2018-19 and found 30,415 samples non-conforming. Out of this, 3900 samples were declared unsafe, 16,870 were sub substandard, and the rest had labelling defects. Also, the organization launched the 2813 criminal and 18550 civil cases. It charged the defaulters with a total amount of Rs 32,57,78,087.
According to the report, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Tamil Nadu had the highest percentage (45) of adulterated samples. Though 202 samples were collected for the process in Nagaland, 86% of them did not conform to the safety standards. Also, 3.7% of the samples tested adulterated in Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya. Besides, Daman and Diu had the least percentage (2.7) of adulterated samples. The National Capital had 485 adulterated samples out of 2461 samples collected.
Increase in Penalties for Adulteration
While only 15% of samples collected tested adulterated in 2012-13, 28.56% did not conform to standards in 2018-19. This number was 25% in 2017-18. Also, there has been an increase in penalties for violation of food standards year on year basis. In 2017-18, the regulatory agency collected near about Rs 26.35 crore. However, this number rose to Rs 32.57 crores in 2018-19.
Initiatives Taken by FSSAI for Generating Food Safety Awareness
Food Safety and Standards Act 2006, FSSAI works to regulate the manufacture, storage, distribution, sale, and import of food based on scientific standards. Along with carrying out its duties to ensure food safety in the country, the agency has involved itself in driving public health initiatives through social media campaigns to provide the right information to citizens regarding the link between eating right and health. FSSAI officials collect random samples of food, milk, water, and other eatables to analyze the quality.
In all, though the percentage of adulteration has doubled in the last eight years, the apex food standard controlling authority has managed to create awareness among both consumers and suppliers regarding food safety.