Food supplied to Attappady tribes is unfit for human consumption

Why the starving tribespeople of Attappady fail to take delivery of their free ration and ‘do not eat properly’?

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, in his post-Cabinet press briefing in the capital on Wednesday, sought to defend his stance that one of the reasons for the tribes’ plight is that they do not eat properly. But why they do not eat properly?

An inspection of the food items distributed to anganwadis from the ICDS (Integrated Child Development Services) godown at Agali and for the midday meal programme in schools by the Maveli store at Agali by the food inspector of Mannarkkad circle and the medical officer of the Community Health Centre (CHC) at Agali on September 14, 2011 had found it “unfit for human consumption.’’

The food inspector, in a report on complaints of distribution of food items unfit for consumption to anganwadis, said that all articles of food items stored in the ICDS godown, Agali, were unfit for human consumption.

“It was also informed that supplies have been made from this stock to several anganwadis already,” the report said seeking withdrawal of these stocks since these were infested with insects. These rice, wheat, and coconut oil were meant for children below five years and pregnant mothers. ‘‘Consumption of these food items could result in food poisoning and even deaths,’’ the report said.

Analysis

An analysis of a rice sample found that it “contained weevilled grains and uric acid to an extent of not less than 12.2 per cent and 960.6 ppm. Hence it does not conform to the regulations of foodgrain under 5.5.6(5) of the FSS Regulation Act, 2011, and is an unsafe food under Section 3(22)(ix) of the Act.”

The report further said that “whole wheat sample also contained weevilled grains, insects, and uric acid to an extent of not less than 600 ppm.”

The ICDS wrote back that “the food found unfit should be recalled.”

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