How long will these adulterators be allowed to play with human lives?
A recent finding of health experts regarding widespread cases of cancer in Kashmir is alarming. Gastrointestinal malignancies are more common than other forms of cancer. Most of the health experts attribute this steep rise in gastrointestinal cancer to our food habits, particularly to adulterated foods. Traditional Kashmiri salted tea and excess use of spiced foods can be reasons for trouble in our digestive track, but adulterated foods are most harmful cause for concern. Adulterated foods and spices affect not only the digestive track, but upset almost all systems and organs of our body.
In recent past two prominent foods processing companies in Kashmir valley were found indulging in manufacturing and selling adulterated milk products and spices. Much was said, both by the concerned food companies and the adulteration monitoring agencies. Allegations and counter allegations made rounds for several months and most of the Valley population watched this ‘Dirty linen washing’ helplessly till the whole issue got buried under twisting of rules or may be by excessive greasing of palms. And later nothing was heard of this mother of all adulteration scoops. A few months earlier a small food processing unit in Srinagar running without license was purportedly unearthed by the authorities and poor common-people were made to believe that most of the seized food material was adulterated with health hazardous colours and other processing materials. Every other week such cases are reported in the press, but nothing substantial seems to have come out of this shoddy exercise of food quality monitoring agencies. Most of the big food companies when accused of adulteration either resort to blame game or play the ‘holier than others’ trick and if even then they fail, they try the ‘victim’ storyline. Unfortunately, for few quick bucks and market competition adulterators play not only with the sentiments of people, but put their lives at great risk. They make people suffer painful diseases and disorders and in social circles claim to be God fearing souls of highest order. An adulterator is an adulterator! And there should be no mercy if his or her crime is proved beyond doubt.