Offenders escape prosecution in absence of testing facilities

ANTI-ADULTERATION DRIVE

ARUN SINGH

Jammu, Oct 26: With inadequate facility of testing laboratories in the city, the anti-adulteration drive launched by Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) is proving a futile exercise as it is unable to get timely result of samples picked for testing to prosecute the offenders.  
 Sources said that the only Food and Drug Laboratory at Regional Research Laboratory (RRL) getting hundreds of samples daily form across the region is overburdened and thus fails to meet the urgency of getting the results to imitate legal action against the  traders resorting adulteration..  
 They said that as per Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) Act-2008, JMC can not set up its own food testing laboratory as a result of which it has to depend on Food and Drug Laboratory at Regional Research Laboratory (RRL)   the only laboratory in the region. The laboratory is regulated by both Union Health Ministry and State Health Ministry, they added.
 They said the laboratory is well equipped with modern gadgets to test all kind of food items which are sent there. Hundreds of samples of food items are sent to this laboratory from across the Jammu region for testing on daily basis which make it overburdened and consequently led to delay in getting results. The maximum time for providing result has been fixed for 14 days which is very long period to take further action against the violators.
 In view of the ongoing festive season, the Health wing of JMC has intensified the anti adulteration drive and conducts massive raids at business establishments selling sweets  , milk and   allied products   within municipal limits and dozens of food samples lifted daily are sent to this laboratory, they said adding that but it cannot get the results in time giving the offenders much time to escape the legal action.
 They added that Consumers Affairs Public Distribution (CAPD) Department was also conducting anti adulteration drives and send the samples to RLL and face same problem   .
 When contacted the Health Officer JMC, Dr Vinod Sharma admitted that Food and Drug laboratory at RRL has very small set up and can not cater to bulk of samples. He said that inadequate staff and many other  problems hamper  the timely testing . 
  “We have to face many problems to take immediate legal action against the defaulters. However we seize adulterated food items and impose heavy fine on the violators”, he added. He further said that Additional Deputy Commissioner has an authority to impose the fine from Rs 5000 to Rs 5 lakh.

Lastupdate on : Fri, 26 Oct 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 26 Oct 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 27 Oct 2012 00:00:00 IST




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