What is food adulteration?
Adulteration of food products is commonly practiced in India by trade. Consumers like to get maximum quantity for a price as low as possible. The sellers must meet the needs of the buyers, to be able to exist. This is a vicious cycle.
When the price of the food production is higher than the price which the consumer wants to pay, the seller is then compelled to supply a food product of inferior quality, i.e., an adulterated one, and thus adulteration occurs.
Adulteration includes intentional addition, substitution, or abstraction of substances that adversely affect the purity and quality of foods incidental contamination of food products with harmful substances such as toxins and insecticides due to lack of care or improper storage facilities, contamination of food with insects and pathogens which occurs during storage and handling.
Impact of adulteration on consumers and the significance of food laws
Adulteration affects the consumers and their health widely in a severe manner.
The toxins, undesirable substances added to the food times as adulterants consist of various allergens which are toxic to the human health leading to food poisoning, food toxication, and in severe cases lead to the death. The various organs of the body including the heart, lungs, gall bladder, and intestine are usually affected due to the adulterants added to the food and thus with time worsen the consumer’s health. Stomach disorder, liver failure, and cancer are some of the common disorders usually consumers suffer from after ingesting adulterated food items. The various undesirable adulterants added to the food are nutrient-deficient and thus lead to nutrient deficiency in the food.
Adulteration depreciates the food quality thus making it unsafe and substandard for human consumption.
National legal laws are a critical component of a successful food control system. Food is governed by a complicated collection of laws and regulations in every country, which outline the government’s requirements for food chain businesses to meet in order to assure food safety and quality. The word food laws’ refers to legislation that governs the production, distribution, and handling of food, and so includes food safety, quality, and other pertinent aspects of food.
The various food laws have been established by the governing authorities to provide consumers with the good quality and healthy food times to be consumed in order to protect the public health and the consumer’s right to safe food.
Laws and regulations on food adulteration
Today, food safety is an important global issue with international trade and public health implications. Governments all over the world are intensifying their efforts to improve food safety. Effective means of food quality can be achieved by legislative measures, certification schemes, and public participation and involvement in the program.
The central government under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has established a body known as ‘Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’ to perform the functions assigned under ‘The Food Safety and Standards Act‘.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India lays down science-based standards for articles of food and regulates their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale, and import, to ensure the availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption.
Food Safety and Standards Act
The Act also aims to establish a single reference point for all matters relating to food safety and standards, by moving from multi-level, multi-departmental control to a single command. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and the State Food Safety Authorities shall enforce various provisions of the Act. It extends to the whole of India. Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 has become operational in the entire country on 5th August 2011.
In today’s time, it’s the need of the hour that consumers should be aware of adulteration and its consequences. The concerned authorities have established laws and regulations forbidding adulteration. The consumers need to be aware of their rights and the laws established by the government in order to consume an unadulterated food item.
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