The government has advised to carry out successful raids with a wide media publicity and to promote consumer awareness to insist on bills while purchasing food products.
The festive season in India has arrived and so has the season for fake food items, especially milk and its products. However, to prevent this from spreading, the government has asked the principal secretaries at the state level to hold periodic drives with the help of police authorities, said a statement by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Also, the government has advised to carry out successful raids with a wide media publicity and to promote consumer awareness to insist on bills while purchasing food products. Earlier, the Delhi High Court had directed the secretary of Health and Family Welfare to hold a meeting of the food safety departments of the state governments along with FSSAI and submit a report on the manner in which counterfeiting of food products can be tracked, recorded and curbed in an effective manner.
“Counterfeit food items, being totally illegal, bypass all mandatory quality checks and pose a grave danger to the health of our citizens. It is absolutely imperative that the problem is dealt with effectively,” said Preeti Sudan, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Strong action against counterfeit food products must be taken and brought to the notice of the public to generate awareness, she added.
In the last few years, fake food items such as sweets made up of fake milk products are found widely spread during the festive season. However, food is not the only area where counterfeiting has mushroomed. The menace has spread across sectors like FMCG, auto, pharmaceutical, e-commerce, packaging, consumer durables, agriculture, fertilisers, etc.
“Counterfeiting corrupts an economy by harming consumer rights, damaging brand equity, causing losses to industries and causing loss of government revenues. The menace of counterfeiting has caused a revenue loss of approximately Rs 1 lakh crore to the Indian economy and curbing it could give a huge boost to the economy,” says Authentication Solutions Providers’ Association (ASPA).
Proper implementation of authentication technologies, enforcement, awareness, and monitoring can effectively curb the spread of counterfeit products, ASPA added.