Commissionerto oversee implementation
Food safety officers to be appointed at the taluk level
BANGALORE: The Government will implement the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, to curb adulteration in the State, Health and Family Welfare Minister R. Ashok has said.
He was speaking to presspersons here on Saturday after attending the function organised to mark Narayana Hrudalaya having conducted 300 free heart surgeries.
The Act, formulated by the Centre, would empower State Governments to appoint a Commissioner of Food Safety who will oversee enforcement of the Act, under the supervision of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.
Mr. Ashok said that the decision to appoint the Commissioner was taken at a high-level meeting on Saturday. “The rules for enforcement of the Act are being framed by the Centre and we are waiting for it,” the Minister added. “I was pained to know that six people died of food poisoning in Goraguntepalya recently. When I convened a meeting of officials from Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike and Health department, they were trying to pass the buck,” he said, giving reasons for enforcing the Act.
Adulteration of food articles, pre-cooked as well as cooked, was rampant and there were no effective curbs, he said.
The Act offers sweeping powers to designated officers to enforce the provisions with regard to food adulteration.
It provides for penalty ranging from Rs. 2 lakh and Rs. 10 lakh depending on the gravity of the offence and also covers misleading advertisements. Mr. Ashok said that according to the Act, food safety officers would be appointed at the taluk level.
Mr. Ashok said that the Government had been providing Rs. 5,000 from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund towards heart surgery.
It would be increased to Rs. 30,000 for patients from Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe categories.
Gradually, all people in the State would be brought under a comprehensive health insurance scheme, he said.
Narayana Health City chairman Devi Prasad Shetty gave details of Narayana Hrudalaya’s services towards offering heart care to people from the poor and middle classes.