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More food testing labs would improve quality: Sahai

The government today called upon states to actively participate in its scheme of setting up food testing laboratories for which it provides 100 per cent funding.



New Delhi: The government today called upon
states to actively participate in its scheme of setting up
food testing laboratories for which it provides 100 per cent
funding.

Minister for Food Processing Industries Subobh Kant Sahai
during his valedictory address in a CII food safety seminar
said there is an urgent need for such laboratories in the
country to avoid wastage of packaged food and perishable
products that are rejected abroad if they don`t meet the
global standards.

According to official data, India loses Rs 50,000 crore
every year due to wastage of perishable products .

"In order to avoid the ignominy of countries rejecting
our food which results in wastages, we need to set up food
testing labs in every district for improving our standards,"
Sahai said.

He said that greater awareness is required among states
regarding upgradation of food quality, adding that they should
come up with proposals to set up such labs in their respective
areas.

"We give 100 per cent funding to such proposals (of
setting up food testing labs) by state governments, while in
case of a private agency we provide 50 per cent funding," the
minister said.

A senior ministry official told PTI that at present there
are only 350 food testing labs in the country.

In 2007-08 the government had launched a scheme to
encourage states and private agencies to set up such
facilities. "Till date under this scheme, we have been able to
set up 70 such laboratories both with the help of states as
well as private agencies," the official added.

Ministry sources said that the scheme was introduced as a
lot of capital investment is needed in terms of civil work and
purchase of equipments for setting up such laboratories, while
the returns are not compatible.

-PTI

From Zee News

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