India is facing a food fraud problem with about ten states unable to ensure food safety and 15% of food samples failing to pass quality tests.
India is facing a food fraud problem with about ten states unable to ensure food safety and 15% of food samples failing to pass quality tests. “The food regulator analyses a total of 106,459 samples across India and finds over 15.8% food samples as sub-standard, 3.7% unsafe, and 9% mislabeled during the year 2018-19,” Authentication Solution Providers’ Association (ASPA) said in a report on Tuesday. At least ten states are also unable to ensure food security in the country, according to FSSAI, as they lack workforce and adequate food testing laboratory infrastructure.
Earlier, a research report by UP-based Harcourt Butler Technical University had also stated that Kanpur, which is one of the biggest markets for edible oil, has about 70% of adulterated mustard oil in the markets. Kanpur also supplies other states with mustard oil. “Finding 70% adulteration in more than 120 samples of oil of 30 big companies is a dangerous sign. In 15% of the samples, mustard was less than 20%, that is, it did not know what oil was,” the ASPA report said. Various other instances of adulterated food have also been reported in parts across the country. In fact, some of food items are considered repeat offenders such as milk, oil, tea, coffee etc as they have been found to have most diluted ingredients, according to ASPA.
Other than various health issues associated with adulterated food, India also suffers monetary loss due to counterfeit food items. The country is reportedly losing over Rs 1 lakh crore per annum due to the sale/purchase of counterfeit goods by consumers across all sectors, ASPA said in an earlier report. “Counterfeiting corrupts an economy by harming consumer rights, damaging brand equity, causing losses to industries and causing loss of government revenues,” Authentication Solutions Providers’ Association (ASPA) said. Food sector is not the only area which is suffering from the menace of counterfeit goods. The issue is prevalent in sectors such as FMCG, auto, pharmaceutical, e-commerce, packaging, consumer durables, agriculture, fertilisers, etc.