Fixing celebs’ responsibility
Apropos of the edit “Madhuri Dixit vs FSSAI” (FE, April 28), it goes without saying that it was the primary responsibility of the food safety regulator to prove that the popular instant noodle Maggi had some banned ingredients in it as it was well-equipped to do so both administratively and technically. However, ironically, after all the brouhaha, it turns out that all its allegations about Maggi were incorrect, with the four independent testing laboratories clearing samples. The moot question is: Who was actually responsible for the mess? And, what about fixing the actual responsibility for various lapses? As regards, the Parliamentary Standing Committee’s report that wants to penalise the brand ambassadors for misleading advertisements, the onus should actually lie on the product-manufacturers or the service-providers. At the same time, their endorsers too can’t escape their responsibility by pleading ignorance about the contents and the genuineness of the subject matter. This is so because they always seek a handsome fee for their services knowing fully well that the people would normally take their words at face-value. Also, the money the advertisers pay to these celebs is ultimately reimbursed by the consumer who pays to buy the endorsed product. The editorial rightly observes that the solution only lies in the authorities apprehending the real crooks. However, several prominent Bollywood celebrities freely endorsevarious anti-health related products like tobacco, alcohol or pan masala, etc. Should there not be more stringent laws to deal with this in the larger national interest? Incidentally, it may also be suggested that any financial penalty that may be imposed on the errant celebrities should be commensurate with the fee they charge for the endorsement.