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PM on curse of adulteration

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PM on curse of adulteration

AT long last, the Government seems to have taken notice of the menace of adulteration, which has assumed dangerous proportions with the passage of time affecting health of people and raising serious concerns about physical and mental health of the new generation. Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday said strict action will be taken against elements who were involved in adulteration in food items and playing with people’s health. Chairing a meeting to discuss measures to control prices of food, he called for use of modern technology to check food adulteration.
It was way back in 2014 that in a paper published in the International Journal of Adulteration, Pakistan was described as being on the verge of a ‘nutritional crisis’ due to prevailing food adulteration. The authors maintained that apart from a few, the raw consumable for cooking purpose, up to processed final finished foods available in the market are adulterated for the most part. In fact, the problem is there for decades but its intensity has increased now and regrettably none of the successive governments in the past took serious notice of the issue. This is despite the fact that prevention is better than cure and Federal and Provincial Governments can save billions on account of healthcare expenditure if strict action is taken against adulteration mafia. This mafia has become so powerful that it succeeded in getting powers of the Punjab Food Authority, which was otherwise highly instrumental, clipped and rendering almost ineffective in its campaign against food adulteration. Milk is not only an excellent natural source of carbohydrates, fats and proteins but also of vitamins, minerals and enzymes but its adulteration has become so serious and obvious that even the Supreme Court had to take notice of it but the practice continues unabated despite off and on raids by authorities concerned and confiscation of the adulterated milk. It has been reported that the milk sellers in Pakistan were found to be involved in mixing milk with contaminated water, harmful chemicals, detergent powder, pharmaline and urea. Apart from that it has also been reported that milk is stored and transferred in barrels that are usually used for transportation of chemicals. In this serious crime of adulteration, not only domestic dealers are involved but many notable companies are also engaged that have been found to be involved in negative propaganda against PFAs. Same is the case with baby milk, edible oil, beverages, tea, spices, pesticides and even wheat flour. Those indulging in such practices are indeed mere killers as they push innocent citizens towards slow death because of their greed and lust for money and become rich overnight. Such elements need no leniency and mercy and taken to task proportionate to their crime. Mere raid, confiscation of food items and imposition of fines would not deter the culprits as they earn hugely in a short span of time. A well-coordinated campaign is need of the hour, which should involve district governments, local police, research laboratories and print and electronic media.

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