NEWS reports regarding the stagnant state of courts set up to act on complaints of food adulteration have surfaced amidst a growing fear of food adulteration by consumers. We note with distress the fact that even after the government had set up these courts on an order by the High Court, they have remained inactive for the last sixteen months. The law ministry has claimed that it has not received even a single complaint from the 'food courts' and thus culprits have been able to escape punitive measures. We are also disheartened at the lack of initiative on the part of the administration to raise public awareness about these courts. Due to a lack of awareness, consumers are often left without any avenues to pursue the matter when they encounter adulterated foods.
At the moment, food safety is a serious concern for the nation with toxic chemicals being used to lace many edible substances in order to lessen the costs of production or enhance shelf life. We feel that the government is obliged to provide adequate resources to the district 'food courts', which includes assigning designated food analysts who will play an integral role in analysing complaints and pushing the cases in courts and creating heightened awareness of the court's existence.
The government's lax response to a judiciary directive has meant that not only has there been an inadequate supply of resources, but whatever resources have been allocated is wasting away. We hope the authorities take note of this fact and work on mobilizing these courts in order to ensure that the consumer gets undulterated foods.