Edibility questioned

Published: Saturday 31 May 2003

The Supreme Court has issued notices to the Union ministries of agriculture, chemical, fertiliser and petrochemicals, health and family welfare, environment and forests, and food and consumer affairs over the contamination of food items. A bench comprising Chief Justice V N Khare and Justice S B Sinha included wheat, milk, fish, tea and edible oil in its list of tainted foods.

The petitioner in the suit, Delhi-based non-governmental organisation Srishti, cited various independent studies to prove pesticide contamination in food, water and soil. Its counsel, Colin Gonsalves, contended: "...Practically all... food items in India are contaminated with dangerous pesticides or insecticides.... Even human blood and mother's milk are found to be similarly contaminated."

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