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Food adulterators sentenced to 6 months imprisonment and fine

Ahmedabad: The maida you may happily used to make snacks may have ash and sulphuric acid or the chilli powder may have synthetic dyes to make it look redder. It seems that adulterated food products are being sold widely. A revelation by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) on Monday stated that the that civic authorities had convicted around 10 food manufacturers, for producing and selling unsafe adulterated products.

Adulteration included the excessive use of colour in laddoos, turmeric in ghee, tetrazine yellow synthetic colour in nan khatai, adulterated vegetable oils, non-permitted soluble dyes in chilli powder, synthetic food colour in mouth fresheners, ash and sulphuric acid in maida and synthetic additives in tomato sauce. The owners of 10 eateries, dairies, bakeries and food manufacturers were convicted by metropolitan magistrate Court No.8 and were jailed for six months. Additionally, the court fined each of them Rs 10,000. 

Patanjali defends amla juice, says it’s a medicinal product

Patanjali says its amla juice does not fall under FSSAI standards but those of the AYUSH ministry, after a Kolkata lab raised quality issues over its consumption
New Delhi: Yoga-guru-turned-businessman Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved Ltd on Monday said its amla juice is a medicinal product and not food, like other juices sold in the market.
Consequently, its amla juice does not fall under the purview of the standards set by the country’s food regulator Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). “It comes under the purview of the Ministry of AYUSH. The test conducted by the Central Food Laboratory in Kolkata was done following the standards set by FSSAI. Our amla juice is a medicinal product and is safe for consumption,” said a spokesperson at Patanjali Ayurved.
The Patanjali spokesperson was reacting to a report by The Economic Times saying that the canteen stores department (CSD), the retailing entity for the country’s armed forces, has suspended sales of Patanjali amla juices at all its 3,901 outlets across the country after the laboratory in Kolkata found the product unsafe for consumption.
“We have also written to the CSD explaining this. Patanjali amla juice will be back to CSD shelves soon,” added the spokesperson.
A CSD spokesperson did not respond to e-mailed queries till press time.
FSSAI chief executive officer Pawan Kumar Agarwal did not respond to calls seeking comments.
In an interview to Mint on 13 April 2016, Agarwal had said that a lot of Patanjali products come under the Ministry of AYUSH and not FSSAI. He was responding to a question regarding the company selling products without FSSAI approval.
In the last one week, Patanjali has been in news for the wrong reasons. Last week, Indian Express reported that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of Haryana had labelled Patanjali ghee (clarified butter) “substandard and unsafe” based on tests that the department had conducted in October 2016 at the state food laboratory of FDA, Haryana.
“Contents in cow ghee are different from the ghee other companies sell. Even the standards set by FSSAI are based on available products and not cow ghee. We are the first company to bring cow ghee in commercial market. There is no standard for cow ghee. So it does not make sense,” said the Patanjali spokesperson, referring to the controversy regarding its ghee brand.
Ghee and amla juice are among the most popular products sold by Patanjali. In April 2016, Ramdev had, in a press conference, said that ghee contributed to around 20% of Patanjali’s revenue.
In the year to 31 March 2016, Patanjali had claimed a revenue of Rs5,000 crore and said that it would cross Rs10,000 crore by 31 March 2017.
The company is yet to file financial details to the Registrar of Companies (RoC).
Will these controversies impact Patanjali’s business, or the brand? Analysts have different views.
Rajat Wahi, partner and head of consumer markets at consulting firm KPMG in India, said any company that expands business too fast (like Patanjali has been doing), with almost a product every week, is likely to find it difficult to maintain quality. “If it continues like this, and more questions are raised over the next few weeks, consumers, no matter how loyal they are, will start rethinking. And that would eventually impact the brand and the business,” he said.
Abneesh Roy, an analyst with Edelweiss Securities Ltd, however, said that the lab that has issues with amla juice is the same lab that found Maggi (instant noodle by Nestle India Ltd) unsafe. “But all other labs found the product safe. The product (amla juice) has to be tested by independent private laboratories. Plus, it all depends on how the issue pans out and what the regulators (like FSSAI) do,” he added.
On the other hand, said Roy, contribution of amla juice is very small to Patanjali’s coffers and the contribution of CSD will be even smaller. “It’s unlikely that this issue will impact the company’s business or the brand,” added Roy.
 

Consumer awareness : Reading and understanding food labels

Canteen Stores Dept suspends sale of Patanjali Amla Juice

Assam Human Rights Commission orders probe on Barpeta ‘food poisoning’

GUWAHATI: The Assam Human Rights Commission (AHRC) on Friday ordered the Barpeta district administration to conduct a magisterial inquiryinto 71 students falling sick after consuming midday meal at a primary school earlier this month.

On April 7, students of Hanhsora LP School in Barpeta district developed fever, severe stomach ache and loose motions after eating food provided by school authorities under the midday meal scheme. Though the condition of none of the students is serious, medical tests reportedly confirmed food poisoning. Many students had to be admitted to Barpeta Medical College Hospital too.

 

Acting on media reports, a single bench comprising AHRC member Naba Kamal Bora directed the deputy commissioner of Barpeta to conduct a magisterial inquiry and find out what caused the illness. “The commission orders the district authority to submit the report of the magisterial probe within one month,” said the AHRC directive.

 

Taking up a separate incident in which one person died and several houses were gutted in a fire that broke out due to alleged negligence of Assam State Electricity Board (ASEB) in the Chaygaon area of Kamrup district last week, the AHRC directed the state government to probe into the matter and submit the report within 30 days.

 

An AHRC order said, “On April 11, a high-tension wire reportedly snapped and fell on a 2200-volt line below it in the Chaygaon area. As a result, fire broke out and damaged some 20 houses of the locality. One Abdur Rahim, seeing the fire, attempted to disconnect his domestic line. However, this resulted in his death. The incident was attributed to negligence on the part of the ASEB for not taking appropriate safety measures while installing and maintaining such wires.” 

69 students hospitalised for suspected food poisoning

SHIMLA: Sixty-nine students of the Jaypee University of Information Technology (JUIT) at Wanknaghat in Solan district of Himachal Pradesh were hospitalized following a suspected case of food poisoning on Thursday night. While 55 students were admitted in Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital (IGMCH), Shimla, 14 were taken to Civil Hospital, Kandaghat.

While 40 students were discharged on Friday, the condition of those still in hospitals is stated to be out of danger.
A team of officials headed by the chief medical officer, Solan, visited the campus on Friday morning to take samples of the food and water provided to the students. A team of doctors from Shimla-based IGMCH, Shimla, also visited the campus and took food samples for checking.

According to district administration officials, the students were served khichdi and pao-bhaji at dinner on Thursday. After taking meals, they started vomiting and complaining of stomach ache around 11.30pm and were taken to the hospital immediately.
While samples taken by the Solan district officials were sent for examination at Composite Testing Laboratory at Kandaghat, those taken by the Shimla team would be tested at the microbiology laboratory of the medical college in Shimla. Students admitted in Shimla hospital alleged that the quality of food served to them at the institute was bad.
Additional district magistrate Sandeep Negi said they would further action into the matter only after getting reports of food and water samples from laboratories. He said that all students were out of danger and their condition was improving. “We still have no confirmation whether it is a case of food poisoning,” he said

Consumer alert – Plastic eggs in Chennai

Consumer complaint as posted in consumercomplaints.in on April 21

I live in chennai ashok nagar opposite to cbi& rbi staff quarters…in our place so many suppliers supply plastic egg with out any fear… I and some people surrounding of ashok nager and kk nager complaint to fci but without response from them… That affect our children and us psychically. And also weak us… So please take effective action against them..

PESPRO Comments :

Consumer can file a complaint with District Designated Officer (Food Safety ) Jones Road, Guindy Chennai along with the sample for solving this issue.