Adulteration, bribes and state patronage

Adulteration is tantamount to slow poisoning of consumers and is indulged in by dishonest traders only to make quick bucks .It is a crime against humanity. Still worse crime is the patronage given by those who are paid by the state to stop it. The malady is wide spread, organised with deep rooted nexus. A case here and an instance there coming to limelight are just tips of iceberg. Adulteration is so rampant and so deep rooted that nothing short of more deterrent legislation and high degree public awareness would make some impact on it.
What is State Food Safety Department doing? How many cases of adulteration on monthly basis does it handle and taking them to the logical ends? Are persons of proven impeccable integrity and honesty posted in this department? The fact of the matter is that the rut is phenomenal. However; Government recently attached two officers of the Food Safety Department and purged them of their “powers” over allowing supply of sub-standard edible oil in Anantnag district of South Kashmir. They are Assistant Commissioner, Food Safety and Food Safety Officer Anantnag. Both of them have been kept attached with the office of Deputy Commissioner, Food Safety Kashmir. We feel this “punishment” is not enough.
Our readers may recollect, had reported very recently that various companies were allegedly supplying sub-standard edible oil in Anantnag district and other parts of the valley under the long but stuffed nose of Food Safety Department . No samples of oil were taken for testing and verifying their authenticity. Loose edible oil is being brought from outside in tankers and then packed in Anantnag town for the last several years and “Hafta” regularly paid by the unscrupulous traders. It is shocking when the reporter of Excelsior contacted Food Safety Department; he was offered a bribe of Rs.50000 for not publishing the fact of adulteration on this massive scale. It is left to no imagination as to the extent of deep rooted nexus of traders- Food Safety officials- Police and others operating in Jammu and Kashmir state.


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