Food adulteration is an act of adding something to the original food which makes to injurious to health and also makes it unconsumable and sometimes excess of adulteration also leads to serious health issue .Donoghue vs. Stevenson is a landmark case which internationally set the liabilities of the producer of food that it should be safeIt can be intentional and unintentional both ,the intentional mixing of adultrants is a punishable offence under all international and national laws.
“adulterant” means any material which is or could be employed for the purposes of adulteration
TYPES OF ADULTERATION
There are three types of adulteration
1)intentional adulterants which includes sand , marble chips , mud and all normal items . This is serious threat to the body and mind of a person .
2)metallic contamination which includes lead, liquid mercury , arsenic and many type of metals its also very hazardous for our nervous system .
3) incidental contaminations are not intentional but happens by any incidents this also sometimes results in harmful effect to body .
FOOD ADULTERATION CAN BE PUT DOWN TO 3 CATEGORIES
REPLACEMENT – In this category you completely or partially remove the original food with less expensive alternative like replacing chilli powder with brick dust .
ADDITION – In this category you add small amount of alien substance but you do not completely replace it .
REMOVAL – In this category you remove the main ingredients from a substance like removing natural product from natural oil.
RECENT HONEY ADULTERATION
The Centre for Science and Environment recently released results of an investigation it had conducted into the quality of honey being produced in India.It reported that products by many popular brands were not honey, and, in fact, had been spiked with added sugar. Therefore, they should not be branded and sold as honey.The report also said that adulteration has become so sophisticated in the country that there are products available to cheat the tests that Indian food testing labs conduct to measure the purity of honeyFood researchers at CSE selected 13 top brands and some smaller brands that sell processed and raw honey in India to check their purity. The researchers found that 77 per cent of the samples were adulterated with sugar syrup. Out of the 22 samples that were checked, only five passed all the tests.
The findings were:
- 77 per cent of the samples were found to be adulterated with addition of sugar syrup.
- Out of 22 samples tested, only five passed all the tests.
- Honey samples from leading brands such as Dabur, Patanjali, Baidyanath, Zandu, Hitkari and Apis Himalaya, all failed the NMR test.
- Only 3 out of the 13 brands – Saffola, Markfed Sohna and Nature’s Nectar (one out of two samples) — passed all the tests.
Laws governing the food safety in India
- Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954
- Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulation, 2011.
- Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulation, 2011.
- Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction of food) Regulation, 2011.
- Food Safety and Standards (Import) Regulation, 2017,etc.
In India, food adulteration is governed by the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954. This Act defines when food will be considered adulterated.Section Section 2(i)(ia) in The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 defines which food should be said adulterated
(a) if the article sold by a vendor is not of the nature, substance or quality demanded by the purchaser and is to his prejudice, or is not of the nature, substance or quality which it purports or is represented to be;
(b) if the article contains any other substance which affects, or if the article is so processed as to affect, injuriously the nature, substance or quality thereof;
(c) if any inferior or cheaper substance has been substituted wholly or in part for the article so as to affect injuriously the nature, substance or quality thereof;
(d) if any constituent of the article has been wholly or in part abstracted so as to affect injuriously the nature, substance or quality thereof;
(e) if the article had been prepared, packed or kept under insanitary conditions whereby it has become contaminated or injurious to health;
(f) if the article consists wholly or in part of any filthy, putrid, 3[***], rotten, decomposed or diseased animal or vegetable substance or is insect-infested or is otherwise unfit for human consumption; 1[***], rotten, decomposed or diseased animal or vegetable substance or is insect-infested or is otherwise unfit for human consumption;”
(g) if the article is obtained from a diseased animal;
(h) if the article contains any poisonous or other ingredient which renders it injurious to health;
(i) if the container of the article is composed, whether wholly or in part, of any poisonous or deleterious substance which renders its contents injurious to health;
5 [(j) if any colouring matter other than that prescribed in respect thereof is present in the article, or if the amounts of the prescribed colouring matter which is present in the article are not within the prescribed limits of variability;]
(k) if the article contains any prohibited preservative or permitted preservative in excess of the prescribed limits;
6 [(l) if the quality or purity of the article falls below the prescribed standard or its constituents are present in quantities not within the prescribed limits of variability, but which renders it injurious to health;]
(m) if the quality or purity of the article falls below the prescribed standard or its constituents are present in quantities not within the prescribed limits of variability but which does not render it injurious to health: Provided that, where the quality or purity of the article, being primary food, has fallen below the prescribed standards or its constituents are present in quantities not within the prescribed limits of variability in either case, solely due to natural causes and beyond the control of human agency, then, such article shall not be deemed to be adulterated within the meaning of this sub-clause. Explanation.—Where two or more articles of primary food are mixed together and the resultant article of food—
(a) is stored, sold or distributed under a name which denotes the ingredients thereof; and
(b) is not injurious to health, then, such resultant article shall not be deemed to be adulterated within the meaning of this clause;
The functions of FSSAI is being given under the Food Security and Safety Act, 2006. They are as follows:
SECTION 16 PROVIDES FOR THE WORK OF FSSAI
- Framing of Regulations to lay down the Standards and guidelines in relation to articles of food and specifying an appropriate system of enforcing various standards thus notified.
- Laying down mechanisms and guidelines for accreditation of certification bodies engaged in certification of food safety management system for food businesses.
- Laying down procedure and guidelines for accreditation of laboratories and notification of the accredited laboratories.
- To provide scientific advice and technical support to Central Government and State Governments in the matters of framing the policy and rules in areas that have a direct or indirect bearing of food safety and nutrition.
- Collect and collate data regarding food consumption, incidence, and prevalence of biological risk, contaminants in food, identification of emerging risks and introduction of a rapid alert system.
- Creating an information network across the country so that the public, consumers, Panchayats, etc. receive rapid, reliable and objective information about food safety and issues of concern.
- Provide training programs for persons who are involved or intend to get involved in food businesses.
- Contribute to the development of international technical standards for food, sanitary and phytosanitary standards.
- Promote general awareness about food safety and food standards.
When any manufacturer sales, distribute, imports or stores any food article which is adulterated, he will be liable under section 16 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration (PFA) Act, 1954 and will also be punished with imprisonment of 6 months and with a fine of rupees 1000 under section 272 of IPC for selling of adulterated food or drink which are hazardous for health consumption. The punishment could also extend depending on the grievousness of the act done by the manufacturer or vendor.
Food adulteration is a major problem every country is dealing with, it is done with an aim to earn more profit neglacting the health benifit of the common people . The govt has a responsibility of looking out for the health of every individual and so the govt has to frame rules and regulations to check and balance the quality of food.The govt has framed various rules to look after it as mentioned above and has also formed a special body FSSAI which has the responsibilty to look after the quality of food and make sure they are not adulterated .The recent honey adulteration has brought an alarm to the authority as the syrup was being imported from china and was of such high quality that it even bypassed the testing machines we use in India. The punishment should be made much more strict .
BY ASAD ANWER ,CHANAKYA NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY ,2ND YEAR