Govt ignoring Food Safety Act
JK Lacks Infrastructure To Check Food Adulteration
GK NEWS NETWORK
Srinagar, Jan 16: Recent expose about adulteration in the milk products in the State once again underlines the State Government’s lack of seriousness about implementing Food Safety and Standards Act.
Under the law the State Government should come up with separate department of Food Safety. Besides, it should also appoint Commissioner of Food Safety for the State and designated officers who would function under him for each district.
A designated officer has to perform various functions including issuing and canceling licenses of food business operator, prohibit the sale of any article of food which doesn’t make the prescribed standards, to receive the sample from food analyst and recommend to the Commissioner of Food Safety to launch prosecution in case of contravention of provision of FSS Act.
The food safety officers, on the other hand, are required to conduct regular inspections, guidance to food business operator, sampling and prosecution.
The law also lays down that the State Government should provide adequate infrastructure -manpower, building, space, office, equipments - for enforcing the Act. The law also provides for the establishment of Special Courts.
Instead of appointing an IAS officer as the Commissioner Food Safety, the State Government has entrusted the responsibility to Satish Gupta, who is also Drug Controller of the State.
In a letter to Principal Secretary to Government, Health and Medical Education Department, last year, Gupta had asked for the post of Deputy Commissioner of Food Safety.
“During the meeting for amendments in the existing J&K Drug and Food Control Organization (Gazetted) Service Rules 1997, it was unanimously felt by the panel …that in order to have an effective and acceptable hierarchy the posts of Deputy Commissioner Food Safety equivalent to Deputy Controller Drugs and Food have to be created and already existing posts of Dy Controller Drugs and Foods should be re-designated as Deputy Controller Drugs,” Gupta said in the letter. However, sources said, the Government has not done anything in this regard.
Sources said the designated officers who have been taken to different departments do not have even sitting arrangement in their respective districts. Sources said these officers also fear that in the absence of the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner Food Safety it is very difficult for them to recommend prosecution against the criminals involved in the adulteration. The sources said the prosecution would be challenged at every step as the Government has not followed the legal parameters as suggested by the law.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 16 Jan 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 16 Jan 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 17 Jan 2012 00:00:00 IST
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