The concern for the safety of food security (Op-Ed, Nov. 7) is to be appreciated insofar as the quality of life is concerned in the developing world. Of all our basic needs, food takes precedence over clothing and shelter. In a country like India with a billion plus population and the ability to “buy” quality, food safety may never be a priority for our politicians. At the same time, the food security Bill must address all our needs.
K.M. Lakshmana Rao,
Contamination and adulteration are never in check despite inspection. Right from packaged water to foodgrain in mega stores, junk food sold at street corners to burgers in international restaurant chains, quality is never a given. Reports of food poisoning appear periodically in the media.
One hopes that the government takes the suggestions made by the writer seriously.
While the discussion about food security has been endless, it is surprising that no thought was spared for the all-important issue of ensuring the quality of grains and the much serious dangers of adulteration and contamination. Food safety is as much important as food security in a country like ours where adulteration and contamination of food products are an ever flourishing business. Policy-makers need to do a lot in enforcing the law on contamination of food items. A foolproof mechanism to prevent the adulteration of food items and deliver swift punishment will go a long way in ensuring our health and safety.
The one discordant note, as Justice Iyer says, is the spiralling prices of other commodities about which the government has done precious little.
J. Anantha Padmanabhan,
Although there has been occasional testing of food items by the government, there is no systematic analysis of essential food items. While ready-to-eat food items like pickles and jams have to bear the F.P.O. certification, grams, cereals and edible oils escape such scrutiny.
It is time the Central government took appropriate steps to supply healthy food.
It is important that we become aware of the consequences of eating adulterated food. There must be seminars on the subject while the judicial system must offer hope to the common man on the issue. It is only when there is public participation on a large scale to address the issue that India can hope to become a country that supplies safe and healthy food.
K. Usha Rani,