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War against food adulterators

The food and drug administration is gearing up to take on the adulterators.

india Updated: May 15, 2010 08:14 IST
B K Singh

What was probably unexpected in this part of the country is happening. The food and drug administration is gearing up to take on the adulterators. Allahabad is a place where spurious drugs and adulterated food items are in abundance.

Yet, shockingly, there has not been a single case of prosecution despite the fact that drug adulteration invites a heavy penalty of Rs 10 lakh and life imprisonment. Similarly law is tough for adulterators in food items, admits an official of the department on condition of anonymity.

However, the scene is changing fast as the government is serious against food and drug defaulters, says Hari Ram Sharma DIG cum Additional Commissioner Enforcement Food and Drug Administration. Talking to Hindustan Times Sharma admitted that the food and drug inspectors were not working as per expectation of the people at large but he attributed this tardy functioning to severe shortage of staff in the department.

Efforts he said are underway to ensure that vacancies are filled up through the UPPSC as soon as possible. This apart, he has urged members of public to be vigilant and talk to him straight in case they feel that the district administration was not paying heed to their complaint.

The food and drug inspectors are directly under the DM who normally delegates this authority to either the city magistrate or an SDM. But he admitted that the authorities concerned at time fail to come up to the expectation of the people and under such circumstances they should contact me directly on 945440020.

He said, adulteration in food and drugs have serious consequences and those involved in such acts were actually enemies of the society and should not be spared. In case of drugs we have a whistle blowing scheme under which the informer of spurious drugs is paid 20 percent of the total cost of the seized spurious drugs.

His name is also kept a closely guarded secret. The laboratory testing the quality of food in Lucknow is being upgraded and the number of food analysts is being increased for better and faster functioning. But this department greatly needs public cooperation to nail the guilty. Without their cooperation success is difficult, he added.