Food adulterators to attract heavy fine, life imprisonment
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Okhla Times News Service/Okhla
MAY 12, 2011: People involved in food adulteration will be forced to pay heavy fine and punishment including life imprisonment. For this to happen, the Delhi government is gearing up to enforce the new Food Safety & Standard Act 2006 within next three months as the Rules under the Act have been notified. Delhi Health Minister Dr. A.K. Walia stated that after enforcement of the new Act, adulteration in food items in Delhi will become very difficult as fear of strict punishment will continue to hover the traders intending to adulterate. The Department of PFA is committed to overcome the menace of food adulteration as it is a major health hazard and affects human.
Dr. Walia while giving details of the new act stated that all food business operators will have to get them registered or licensed. “The petty shopkeepers will also have to apply for registration whereas the other business establishment shall have to get license. Under the new Law the punishment has been divided into two categories. In case of sub-standard, misbranded food and in case of misleading advertisement about the food products (not injurious to health), the cases will not go to the court and only fine shall be imposed up to maximum of Rs.10 lakh. Hence, the disposal of cases will be fast,” he said.
In case of un-safe food the punishment will be imprisonment up to 7 years with fine of Rs.10 lakh. In case of death caused due to adulterated food items, the punishment will be 7 years imprisonment and maximum life imprisonment and fine up to Rs.10 lakh. The new act will have a provision of a compensation of injury or death. Under the new changes, the department will be authorized to recall injurious food and punishment will be doubled for subsequent offences. For the petty manufactures, there is provision of compounding of offences.
Dr. Walia further stated that the other penalties are fine up to Rs.2 lakh for selling food not of the nature or substance or quality demanded, up to Rs. 5 lakh for sub-standard, up to Rs.3 lakh for misbranded food, up to Rs.1 lakh for un-hygienic or un-sanitary processing or manufacturing of food.
Dr. Walia added that the Department of PFA has been instructed to continue raids against adulterators. During April, 2011, in all, 264 samples were lifted out of which 40 were found to be adulterated and four to be mis-branded whereas result in respect of 43 samples is still awaited. 32 samples of spices, 31 of milk products, 22 each of pulses, cereals and milk, 18 of edible oil and 17 from eating establishments were lifted. Apart from this 69 samples of miscellaneous of food items were also lifted. The raids were conducted in all parts of the Capital city.
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