Appoint food safety officers within eight weeks, HC tells Delhi

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New Delhi, May 5 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the city government to appoint, within eight weeks, food safety officers here, to keep a tab on use of pesticides in vegetables and fruits sold across the national capital.

A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath asked the government to file an affidavit indicating what steps they have taken on appointment of food safety officers.

Posting the matter for August 10, the court asked the government to take necessary steps for appointment of food safety officers in terms of Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

The court’s direction came after amicus curiae Saket Sikri told it that there is scarcity of food safety officers in Delhi for collecting samples, and the Delhi government had also accepted that in its affidavit filed in November last year.

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A report submitted by the amicus curiae had earlier said that in a number of vegetables and edible items, pesticide residue was found to be beyond permissible limits.

A large quantity of vegetables and fruits sold in the capital contains dangerous pesticides that can cause serious health problems, the report had said. The high court had earlier taken suo motu cognizance of an NGO report that said the amount of pesticides used by farmers in India was as much as 750 times higher than European standards.



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