Mumbai: Maharashtra government will initiate a legislation to make life imprisonment as the maximum punishment for food adulteration, Minister for Food and Drug Administration Girish Bapat today said.
He was responding to a ‘Point of Information’ on cases of food adulteration and spurious chemical products having increased drastically across Maharashtra in the last three years according to data released by the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry.
It was raised by Congress member Sanjay Dutt in the Legislative Council.
“The government will initiate a legislation to make life imprisonment the maximum punishment for adulteration cases,” Bapat said.
He added that the government was working to increase the number of world class laboratories and mobile units in the state to curb adulteration.
Speaking on the issue earlier, Dutt pointed out that a Patanjali product, which was being distributed in the market, had its manufacturing date marked as “April 2018”, despite it still being March.
Responding to him, Bapat said action would be be taken as per law, adding that no one was above law.
Dutt also said adulteration cases had doubled from 1,162 in 2015 to 2,529 in 2017 and added that Maharashtra currently ranked second, after Uttar Pradesh, in registering food adulteration cases in 2016-17.
He, however, pointed out that none of the accused in these 1,256 cases were convicted.
Dutt submitted an opinion of medical experts, stating that such adulteration, especially found in packaged food products, milk, cooking oil and other consumables meant for human consumption, was detrimental to health and caused kidney, liver and other complications.
Dutt demanded that the concerned ministry strengthen its monitoring department to ensure swift action and conviction of those guilty of adulteration.