Srinagar, Jan 31: Jammu and Kashmir High Court is contemplating to impose a penalty Rs 60 crore on three leading food processing companies in Kashmir after a report by SKIMS found that their adulterated food products besides being carcinogenic can damage organs and cause multiple diseases.
A division Bench of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court comprising Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar and Justice Tashi Rabstan after studying the report of Director SKIMS, Srinagar, Dr Shoukat Ahmad Zargar, about the Khyber Milk manufactured by Khyber Agro Farms, Turmeric powder manufactured by AVON Agro Industries Pvt Ltd Delhi and Saunf powder manufactured by M/s Kanwal Agro Food Industries Anantnag that were found adulterated by Central Food Laboratory Kolkata in its order today said: “The impleaded parties are further directed to show cause as to why, besides initial direction for depositing Rs 10 crore each, as directed by the Court vide order dated December 23, 2013, they shall not be directed to deposit further Rs 10 crore each in view of the report of Director SKIMS.”
The Court has also directed the three companies to comply the Court order dated December 23, 2013 under which they have to deposit Rs 30 crore with Director SKIMS, Srinagar. It may be mentioned here that Supreme Court had deferred the order of depositing of Rs 30 crore with Director SKIMS by four weeks.
The companies have been directed to give an undertaking before the Registrar Judicial of the High Court within seven days that they will not sell these products that have been found adulterated.
The Director SKIMS who was directed by the High Court to file report about the nature of diseases caused by the colouring and other material which were found in the spices and the toned milk has said that besides being carcinogenic these colouring agents can damage various body organs and can cause heart diseases.
The report of the Director SKIMS says that the Tratrazine found in the turmeric power causes allergic and intolerance reactions in children, among asthmatics and those with aspirin intolerance.
The report further says that various immunologic responses have been attributed to Tratrazine ingestion including anxiety, migraine, clinical depression, blurred vision, itching, general weakness, heatwaves, feeling of suffocation, purple skin patches and skin disturbance.
“The hyperactive behaviour caused by Tratrazine can result in irritability, restlessness and sleep disturbances. It can also cause neurobehavioral toxicity among children”, says the SKIMS report.
The report says that there is no sufficient evidence to implicate tratrazine in carcinogenesis but more evidence favours that it has carcinogenic potential.
The report says that Saunf powder manufactured by M/s Kanwal Agro Food Industries Anantnag contains tratrazine, Carmoisine and sunset yellow. “The Carmoisine and Sunset yellow have similar effects as Tratrazine”, the SKIMS report said.
The SKIMS report, however, said that Central Food Laboratory Kolkata report on Khyber Milk has only reported presence of detergent in the milk but has not specified the type of detergent. “The harmful effects depend upon the type of detergent and its quantity, however the detergents can damage gastrointestinal track”, the report adds.
The Court has directed the Director Information to give wide publicity to these adulterated products and their adverse affects on the health of people.
“The Deputy Commissioner’s across the State have been directed to ensure that these products are not sold anywhere in their districts”, the Court orders.