Some Substandard and Misbranded food products (found to be adulterated with dangerous coloring agents) are being sold in the state of Jammu & Kashmir. As per a recent report from the Central Food Laboratory (Kolkata) which was doing analysis on the samples of some of the products, has concluded that the products are unsafe for human consumption and even may lead to Cancer.
The three companies who were allegedly found to be involved in the adulteration of food products are the corporate houses out of which two are from the state of J&K whereas one is a Delhi based corporate group.
All three companies however have denied the claims of food adulteration and have cited a conspiracy to tarnish their image with such allegations as they said that their product samples were tested and approved by the public analyst of the state.
There have been various instances of food adulteration in the state of Jammu & Kashmir and the people are suffering from gastric problems due to the consumption of adulterated food items. The state government said to have taken strong steps in order to control the food business activities to ensure that the safety and security of the people of Jammu & Kashmir should not be compromised.
On the bases of Central Food Laboratory’s report, the recent judgement by the Jammu & Kashmir bench have asked the three companies to deposit Rs. 10 crores each with the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Science as penalties for selling adulterated food products.
The social outfits and the people of the state have opined that a strict penalty with a severe punishment is required to control the activities of rising food adulteration in the state. As per data 83% of the milk and milk food products were found to be adulterated, the last time when the milk samples were analyzed.
Food adulteration is a dangerous malpractice as it can lead to serious health problems and can even prove fatal. The usage of non-authentic substances in food items is strictly prohibited under the Indian law and the same applies to export oriented units. Any violation of the provisions of FSS Act/Rules & Regulations is liable for penalties and may invite prosecution.
Some common foods and how they can be found adulterated
Milk could be found adulterated by adding water or by removing the cream or by adding artificial coloring agents like Annatto, ceramel, coal tar colors and preservatives like formaldehyde, boric & other acids etc.
Meat & Eggs could be found adulterated by adding preservatives like potassium nitrate, boric & other acids etc. Coloring matter like Aniline red and cochineal-carmine is usually added colors.
In Vegetable, malachite green is used for bright glowing green color which may be carcinogenic for humans.
Martius Yellow being used to enhance the Yellow color of food substances. It can be carcinogenic and could cause stomach disorders.
Argemone & Papaya Seeds being used in Mustard seeds could cause epidemic dropsy and severe glucoma.
Starch being added to give rich texture to paneer, khoya & condensed milk and could cause stomach disorders.
Pepperoil is added to ice cream which would cause Kidney, lung and heart diseases.
Coffee Powder is adulterated through Tamarind seeds. Chicory powder being used as coloring agent & to add weight.
Injectable dyes in watermelon, peas, capsicum, brinjal, papaya seeds.