Pesticides cause farmer deaths , illness in Yavatmal

Lethal spray: Farmers and labourers infected due to toxic insecticides at the Vasantrao Naik Govt. hospital in Yavatmal district on Wednesday.    

472 farmers hospitalised for the same infection in the last three months, 11 died in the last five weeks, five dependant on life support systems

Since last Friday, 35-year-old Maruti Barbhate, a farmer from the Bellora village in the Yavatmal district of Maharashtra, is tied with ropes to a bed in Ward Number 12 of the Vasantrao Naik Government Medical College (VNGMC).

“It took 12 men to control him. He is not in his senses but he keeps on shaking his body with force. He owns three acres of land and cultivated Bt cotton this year. He was considered an expert in spraying pesticides on the plants in our village. On September 29, he accidentally came into contact with the pesticide and fell ill. Since then, he is tied to this bed. I had to come here to take care of him as his wife has just given birth to a baby boy and is in a hospital,” Mr. Barbhate’s sister-in-law Leela told The Hindu.

Mr. Barbhate is one of the 27 farmers currently undergoing treatment at Yavatmal’s VNGMC for infections caused by spraying pesticides on their cotton produce.

Dr. Ashok Rathod, Dean, VNGMC, said 11 farmers and farm labourers have died at the hospital in last five weeks due to infection caused by spraying pesticides in their farms. Over 472 farmers have been admitted to the hospital for the same infection in the last three months.

Five out of 27 farmers in the VNGMC remain critical and dependant on life support systems.

Chhaggan Rathod from the Dattapur village of the district also complained of uneasiness after spraying pesticide on cotton crop last week.

“One drop went into my eye and I fainted. I could not see properly for a couple of days. I was using ‘Police and Polo’ pesticide,” said Mr. Rathod.

According to Mr. Kishor Tiwari, who heads the Maharashtra government’s Task Force to curb farm distress, 19 farmers have lost their lives in the district in the last few weeks due to “improper pesticide use”, and over 1,800 farmers have been reported ill because of the same infection.

Ashok Bhutda, who owns 17 acres on the outskirts of Yavatmal city and cultivates Bt cotton, blamed the increased height of the cotton crop this year for the pesticide infection.

Lethal spray: Farmers and labourers infected due to toxic insecticides at the Vasantrao Naik Govt. hospital in Yavatmal district on Wednesday.  

Bt cotton, pesticides

“This year, the cotton crop has grown up to six feet [in height], forcing farmers and farm labourers to spray above their heights, which put them at risk of coming into contact with the chemicals,” he claimed. Mr. Tiwari blamed Bt cotton and toxic pesticides for the deaths and illness of farmers, and also blamed the district authorities “for failing to educate farmers on the proper use of pesticides”.

Maharashtra’ Minister of State for Agriculture Sadabhau Khot visited Yavatmal on Wednesday and announced the formation of teams of investigating local officers for each tehsil of Yavatmal to inquire into every farmer death in the district.


Consumer alert – Worms in Baby Cerelac food

Food Business Operator : Nestle India

Place : Roh, Dhanbad, Jharkhand State

Product : Baby  Cerelac 

Issue : Worms inside Cerelac 

Consumer complaint posted by achaldbd on July 7th in Indian Consumer Complaints Forum

Its very embarrassing that we have found brown worm in side the baby cerelac food for 10 month. I am a regular customer for the same for past 1 years for my daughter who is of 15 month .On 6th of May I have purchased a stage 3 cerelac from a medical shop at Roh in nawadha bihar Indai for my baby (wheat rice and fruit) . on the same day we feeded the baby but one second day when seeing minutely we saw 4 small brown worm. on the first day we have feeded 4 times to my baby .again its a misappropriate presentation of a big brand. If something happens to my child then i will approach to consumer court and social media.

achal sharma

PESPRO Comment

Consumer can also file complaint with your area District Designated Officer (Food Safety

Beware of microbial.chemical contamination in juices


There is a vast variety of branded juice and soft drinks in the market. However, it is important to judge what is safe and healthy for you. Buy pasteurised juices, check for labels and more, say experts.

Saurabh Arora, founder of, and Pawan Vats, Vice President at Auriga Research (service provider of pharmaceutical testing, food testing and herbal testing), have listed a few pointers one must keep in mind:

  • While selecting the right drink, the best is 100 per cent fruit juice without added sugar, followed by a fruit drink with low sugar content and high quantity of fruit content and then the fruit drinks.

Last in the order are flavoured drinks as they contain no fruit content, but only fruit flavours. Avoid these as all they will do is quench your thirst and will only give you sugar and water.

  • Fruits have a short shelf life and harmful pathogens from contaminated fresh fruit that can enter fruit juices at any time during handling, preparation and processing.

Improperly packaged fruit juices and soft drinks encourage growth of fungi and moulds. Juice manufacturers normally pasteurised juices with a quick high-heat treatment so they are free from pathogens, yeast and moulds and which extends shelf life to between 9 to 12 months depending on the packaging.

So, buying pasteurised juices will help prevent food-borne illnesses. These days some juices are cold pressed and these need to be stored with temperature controls or they will get contaminated. Never buy cold-pressed juices that are in the open unless they are from freezers and chillers.

  • Fresh fruits are susceptible to chemical contamination as insecticides are sprayed on them to prevent pest infusion. Consumers must, therefore, buy fruit juices and other soft drinks only from a fixed-base operator (FBO). Licensed FBOs carry out regular testing of products so chemical contaminants are within regulatory limits.
  • Packaging must be checked for physical damage like dents or breakages as rupture of the container can lead to microbial contamination. Check that the seal is not broken on the inside of juice cartons.
  • A look at the list of ingredients and nutritional facts will give a true picture about the fruit content, quantity of sugar and other substances and additives used in the drinks like colours, preservatives and flavours.

Action against misleading advertisements

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has upheld complaints about 100 misleading advertisements related to healthcare, personal care, education, food and beverages and E commerce.
The ads in healthcare category included: Dr. Batra’s Homeopathy Family Clinic, which claimed to have cured over 10 lakh patients in 142 cities for hair fall, skin and other disorders. It also offered cure for sexual problems which was in violation of the Drugs & Magic Remedies Act. Similarly “ Nova Pulse IVF Clinic Private Limited” claimed to have carried out over 10,000 IVF pregnancies. The claim was unsubstantiated. Similarly the catch line of the “Richfeel Health & Beauty Pvt. Ltd”’s ad offered better hair growth just for Re.1with a visual of 1 rupee coin. However the body copy of the ad states the treatment costs as Rs. 60,000/-.
Under personal care category the Hindustan Unilever’s ads “The new Lakme Youth Infinity range keeps the contoured look of youth”, and “Percentages of women who have experienced the sculpting power of Lakme Youth Infinity Day Crème” were found to be unsubstantiated and misleading. “ Marico Ltd”s ad “Parachute Advanced apnaiye aur paiye World’s Best Hair”, was found to be misleading and exaggerated.
In education category “Swadesh Competition Classes, Jodhpur, Rajasthan”’s claim of offering Government job in 3 months was found to be unsubstantiated since there was no data to support the claim. “Orane Institute of Beauty & Wellness” made false claim of having largest network of beauty and wellness Institutes in Delhi-Punjab-Chandigarh-Gujarat-Rajasthan-Haryana-Himachal Pradesh”. It also made a false claim of “100 per cent Job Assistance” through the institute .
Under the Food and Beverages category GlaxoSmithKline’s claim that “Horlicks”, “Helps Manage Healthy Blood Pressure”, was found to be misleading by ambiguity and implication.
In E commerce category, “ Amazon India” ad found to be offering “HTC Desire 620G Dual Sim” for the discounted price of Rs.7375, whereas the actual MRP was Rs.9990. “ Cleartrip”’s advertisement was also found to be misleading. Similarly “Magic Bricks” a property site made false leadership claim. Its website did not quantify the total number of properties displayed or sold.
Also, “Bridgestone India”’s claim that its tyres were eco-friendly was exaggerated. The stunts in normal traffic shown in Bajaj Auto’s ad was in disregard to safety and sought to encourages violation of traffic rules. Similarly Idea Cellular’s ad “ek jaroori suchna! abhi call karen 53111 aur payen 50 Rs ka free recharge”, was false and misleading.Philips Appliances’s ad offering life long free service was also misleading.
In other categories, Indigo Airlines’s offer “With fares starting at just Rs.858, book till 8th November 2016 for travel between 11th January 2017 and 11th April 2017”, was false since no such flight fare exist. Besides, there was no specific information about which route or for which flight this offer was valid.
ASCI’s role has been acclaimed by various Government agencies, including The Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA), Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and Ministry of AYUSH. The Supreme Court of India in its recent judgement also affirmed and recognized the self-regulatory mechanism put in place for advertising content by ASCI.

Food Safety News – India updates – Feb 7-2017


Fast food chain agrees to carry caffeine warning on cups

Fast food retailers had said FDA was targeting McDonald’s when a number of multiplexes, restaurants, food-stalls and fast food chains sell caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee in paper glasses, without warnings.
Beverage containers at sold at outlets of McDonald’s, a fast food chain, in western and southern India will carry the ‘contains caffeine’ warning. The company agreed to carry the warning after the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) issued a notification asking food and beverage outlets to put the warning on cups or lose licenses.
HT had reported, on January 10, about FDA’s campaign at shopping malls, multiplexes, cinema halls, restaurants and bars and fast food chains that sell caffeinated products without a warning on the containers.
“All the other outlets, using paper glasses have pre-printed warnings unlike the ones McDonald’s was selling. However, they are abiding by the norms and our only intention is to inform the customer about the contents of the drink and not target a company,” said Harshdeep Kamble, FDA commissioner.
Fast food retailers had said FDA was targeting one company when a number of multiplexes, restaurants, food-stalls and fast food chains sell caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee in paper glasses, without warnings. “First of all, there are no specific guidelines on the containers or glasses that are used to dispense the caffeinated beverages. FDA targeting McDonald’s is not nearly practical because all the restaurants, fast food chains, or even smaller hotels who sell caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee in paper glasses, don’t have any warnings,” an official from the fast food industry said. FDA officials argued that they haven’t found violations at any other outlet.
The issue of beverages being sold at a number of outlets without the warning came to light after a Kolhapur-based franchise of McDonald’s India was pulled up by local food and safety officer. However, as the franchise went into an appeal against the action, the issue was heard by FDA Maharashtra commissioner after which the state-wide notification was released.
“Following the directive, Hardcastle Restaurants, a franchise of McDonald’s, has adhered to all statutory requirements, and is in compliance with all applicable laws pertaining to mandatory food labelling. McDonald’s restaurants have implemented the advisory on its packaging. At McDonald’s India, the health, safety and well-being of our customers are paramount. We have always conformed to the highest quality and food safety standards and will continue to do so at all times.” said spokesperson, McDonald’s India – west & south India.
Caffeine is a stimulant found in beverages such as coffee, tea and carbonated drinks. It can treat and prevent premature infant breathing disorders and is on WHO Model list of medicines, but other studies have established that its high doses can cause restlessness, tension, insomnia, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal disturbance and irregular heartbeat


Banned tobacco products seized at Mayabunder Jetty

A team of Food Safety Officials headed by Mr KK Paul, Designated Officer, Mr Nagoor Meeran, Food Safety Officer and Mr Abdul Aziz, Food Safety Officer of North & Middle Andaman conducted extensive search operation from February 2-4 in the cargo vessel, 
ITTP Leopard at Mayabunder jetty. The team inspected general cargo containing in six containers and more than 800 packages were opened and checked thoroughly. During the search, six bottles of tobacco paste were recovered from one trunk owned by Mr Baidyanath Hazra of Billyground. 
The articles were seized by the Food Safety Officer, Mayabunder and penalty of Rs 10,000 was imposed. Later, the Food Safety officials destroyed the seized contraband products.

J & K 

D&FCO conducts market checks, asks food business operators to obtain due Licenses

Jammu : Drugs and Food Control Organization (D&FCO) today conducted surprise market checks and directed all the Food Business Operators to obtain License/Registration before starting their business as is mandatory under the provisions of Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006.
Official spokesperson said, “The directions were passed during an inspection conducted by a team of Food Safety Officers at Talab Tillo area to secure compliance of food vendors with provisions of food laws.”
‘The inspection was carried under the overall supervision of Designated Officer, Municipal Limits Jammu Sanjeev Kumar, he added.
During inspection the team directed a sweets shop to stop business activity as it was carrying out the business without mandatory food license as required under the provisions of Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006.
During the drive samples of food articles including ‘Continental Sauce and Urd Daal Powder’ were lifted from the market to check its quality.
The enforcement team also directed all the Food Business Operators to obtain License/Registration as is mandatory under the provisions of Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006 without any fail by applying Online through local Khidmat Centers to avoid action against them.

Pan masala, gutka sell like hot cakes

For Civic: A man chewing tobacco in Tiruchi.
The ban is being flouted due to lack of enforcement in the recent past
In spite of the ban on sale of pan masala and gutka, sales continue unabated in different parts of the city.
The ban came into effect in 2013. As per the State government order, no one should store, distribute and sale of gutka and pan masala. The officials of Food Safety and Drug Administration Department were empowered to take action against those manufacturing, storing and selling the banned items.
Though the Food Safety officials, along with the Tiruchi Corporation officials had conducted raids on shops selling banned items in the past, the sale is said to have reached all time high with the lack of enforcement in the recent past.
A wait of about half an hour by this correspondent at a petty shop near Central Bus stand revealed that the sale of gutka and pan masala was almost equivalent to the sale of cigarettes. At least 10 customers bought pan masala brands such as “hans”, Shanti strong, SNT-1 and others. All of them were different forms of chewable tobacco.
They were sold secretly to the customers, although they were available in plenty in the petty shop. They were sold between Rs.5 and Rs.15 per bag.
Each sachet was sold for at least ₹2 more than the actual price printed on it.
“Pan masala sale accounts for about 15 per cent of our daily transactions. Otherwise, we will loose our customers,” a petty shop owner at the Central Bus stand told The Hindu.
Another petty shop owner said that the sale of banned items was profitable than selling cigarettes as customers would not question the price of pan masala.
Enquiries revealed that most of the shop keepers, mainly petty shop owners, continued to sell the banned items in Tiruchi and neighbouring areas.
They were available in almost all petty shops in Cantonment, Central Bus Stand, Railway junction and other areas.
Enquiries further said there were many wholesale traders selling pan masala items on Big Bazaar Street, Peria Kammala Street and others.
The petty shop owners would visit them to buy pan masala items whenever they wanted.
“Pan masala chewing has become a habit to me. Even If I want to quit, it is not possible as pan masala is easily available,” said M. Vasanthan, a teenager of Ponnagar, who bought a sachet of pan masala for ₹15.

You may have to pay extra tax for pizzas and burgers after budget ?

Image result for pizzas and burgers
PM Modi has formed a group of secretaries consisting of 11 members who have been asked to recommend “imposition of additional taxes on foods with added sugar, salt and saturated fats.”

Well, let’s explain it to you in a better way. There would be a very few people who can say no to burger , pizza or food that are cheese laden or some fries. Now these people may require to pay a tax popularly called ‘fat tax’.

The reason is simple.

The additional revenue from this Fat Tax on junk food would be added to the health budget . This will help the government to increase budget in health sector, which is just 1.16% of the GDP now.

The only thing that is deterring the government from finalizing the decision is a nod from the Prime Minister. However to believe the experts, this ‘fat tax’ may be finalized on the budget this year.

However the term ‘ junk food ’ term isn’t yet included under Food Safety and Standard Act as of now.

Well intended
The move is definitely well intended. That’s what the group feels like. Consumption of junk foods, rich in sugar, salt and started fat is one of the reasons why young India is suffering from several lifestyle ailments. And this move is meant to discourage people from eating too much junk food.

Will this work?
Kerala has already introduced a similar tax in the state. So if you buy junk food, you would require to pay 14.5% as fat tax. Restaurateurs say, while the government coffer is getting richer, the people are still making a beeline at the places that serve junk food.


Delhi govt may raid restaurants in CP, Khan Market over hygiene


The Delhi government will launch a food surveillance programme starting Monday to determine quality and hygiene of the fare served in restaurants and fast food chains across the city.

The drive will cover major food hubs as well as sale of packaged food items like chips and juices. In the first phase, target areas to be covered under surveillance will be Connaught Place, Karol Bagh, Chandni Chowk, Khan Market, Lajpat Nagar and a few others, sources in the department said. The purpose of the programme is to ensure that eateries are conforming to conditions laid out in the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.

“It will have a great preventive effect in the food market regarding unsafe and unhealthy food all across the national Capital, including leading food chains here,” said Dr Mrinalini Darswal, food commissioner,department of food safety.

According to Darswal, this is one of the most ambitious programmes…

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