Food adulteration, a cancer: Govt

Describing food adulteration as "cancer", the Central government today put the onus of dealing with the problem on states.

Last Updated: Aug 12, 2010, 16:15 PM IST

New Delhi: Describing food adulteration as "cancer", the Central government today put the onus of dealing with the problem on states and asked them to tighten enforcement machineries so that the perpetrators do not play
havoc with the lives of people.

The issue led to an uproar in the Lok Sabha which was
adjourned prematurely for lunch recess after several members
sought to speak on it but were disallowed by the Chair which
observed that there was no provision for it under the Calling
Attention Motion.

Opposition members wanted to express themselves on the
issue, saying it was a crucial matter relating to lives of
people.

Minister of State for Health Dinesh Trivedi said he shared
the concern of the members and was ready for a full-fledged
debate on the issue if a proper notice is given.

"This problem (of adulteration of food items) is a cancer.
We also buy food items...I will be happy if a full-day
discussion is held," he said amid uproar.

Deputy Speaker Karia Munda said the matter has been
raised under the Calling Attention Motion and only the member
who has given the notice could speak.

Munda said he could not allow other members to speak
unless a proper notice for discussion is given.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs V Narayanasamy
also asked the members to give notice after which the Business
Advisory Committee would decide as was the procedure.

The Calling Attention Motion was given by Congress member
Jagdambika Pal. Other members, including Harsimrat Kaur (Akali
Dal) and Shailender Kumar (SP) also wanted to speak on it but
was disallowed by Munda.

This led to an uproar as SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav,
JD-U chief Sharad Yadav and Deputy Leader of Opposition
Gopinath Munde pressed the Chair to allow Kaur to speak.
Munda, however, refused, saying if she is allowed then
others were also waiting to speak.

As commotion persisted for about 15 minutes, Munda
adjourned the House prematurely for lunch recess.

Earlier, replying to the Motion, Trivedi said the
administration of all food safety laws rests with the
respective states and Union Territory governments.
"Therefore, I would urge upon all the states and Union
Territory governments and their Food Safety Administrators to
tighten their enforcement machineries to keep strict vigil on
activities of unscrupulous elements and to strive for speedy
trials so that perpetrators of such heinous crimes do not play
havoc with the health and lives of consumers and are brought
to book," he said.

PTI