The Food and Drugs Department was also criticised.
Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Wednesday reprimanded the state, BMC and Food and Drugs Department for their lack of interest in preventing adulteration in food.
After going through data produced before the court, the bench observed that more than 1000 food samples were collected during 2017, and out of 1000 only 154 were samples of mangoes were tested. This shows how much the agencies and the state are concerned about public health.
The division bench of Justice NH Patil and Justice GS Kulkarni was hearing PIL filed by Citizen Circle for Social Welfare and Education through its president Arshad Ali. The PIL has raised the issue of use of chemicals, pesticides, antibiotics and genetically treated substances in fruits, vegetables and poultry farms.
Petitioner’s lawyer Syed Shehzad Naqvi on Wednesday submitted written suggestions before the bench and justice Kulkarni while appreciating suggestions asked the respondents to consider implementing these proposals.
The suggestions included random and routine inspections of poultry farms in the state to check if antibiotics for growth promotion are used.
Another suggestion was inspection of food distribution markets wherefrom, these food are redistributed to various markets and whole-sellers. and inspection of food stores, including multinational food brands.
Also, the government should advertise the harmful effects of use of chemicals/pesticides in fruits, vegetables and use of antibiotics in chicken.
The lawyers representing the state, FDA and BMC sought time to take instructions to file reply on queries raised by the bench. The bench directed that Commissioner of FDA, Joint Commissioner of Department of Animal Husbandry and senior official of BMC should remain present before the court on the next date of hearing to explain what policy they have to prevent food adulteration and to ensure that public health is not damaged.