Safety spin

  • 14/08/2006

On July 26, 2006, the Lok Sabha passed the much controversial Food Safety and Standards Bill, 2005. But will it ensure your safety? The bill defines contaminants as "any substance, not intentionally added to food, which is present in such food as a result of the production ... or as a result of environmental contamination'. In other words, pesticide residues, which are not intentionally added, but are introduced in the production process, are contaminants. The bill defines extraneous matter as "any matter contained in an article of food which may be carried from the raw materials, packaging materials or process systems used for its manufacture or which is intentionally added to it, but such matter may not render such article of food unsafe'. In other words, pesticides carried from raw material are also extraneous matter. So are pesticide residues in soft drinks contaminants or extraneous matter? If they are extraneous matter, they are not unsafe. Safety, in turn, is not measured against given standards.

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