Increasing adulteration of eatables, food and milk products and
overdose of fertilizer cum pesticide, leading to dangerous
and complicated health problems in our state.
Letter Prakash Singh Badal
Sukhpal Singh Khaira
There is a steep and alarming increase in serious diseases like cancer of various kinds, hepatitis, renal failure, heart malfunction, diabetes, blood pressure etc. in our society over the past few years. One of the reasons could be the sedentary life style or poor eating habits but by and large all our food products including vegetables, fruits, milk, wheat, rice or even drinking water are largely unfit for human consumption leading to these chaotic health conditions.
Being the elected representative of people, as part of my duty I visit the aggrieved family whenever there is loss of life in my constituency. To my surprise there is a sudden increase in cancer deaths in doaba as well, every fifth or sixth person is dying due to cancer of various kinds or the above mentioned diseases. My interaction with people has confirmed beyond doubt my belief that virtually all ingredients required for human intake are either adulterated or there is overdose of fertilizer-pesticide in them.Â Water borne diseases have further added to the woos of people with uncontrolled industrial waste and toxics seeping into our ground water. Below listed are few known reasons noticeable to a layman eye which deserve immediate and strict attention of our Govt.
Gross adulteration in milk and its by products, dairy owners are using chemical injections on animals to improve yield. Many diary owners are using Phuki (spent grain) a waste product of distellers to increase yield of milk in animals, this Phuki is not only an intoxicant but contains pesticides and fertilizers present in our grains.
Only today while writing this letter an NGO of Ludhiana has highlighted in press, failure of milk samples taken from seven reputed milk producing companies confirming milk unfit for human consumption.
Farmers are using toxic injections on vegetables like Kaddu, ram-tori, ghea, baingan to increase their size and weight overnight. Dangerous sprays to control pesticides being done without any quantity control, besides many brands of pesticides in market without appropriate approvals and ratings.
Depleting groundwater forces farmers to use sewerage water laced with industrial pollutants for irrigation in various parts of the state particularly on the outskirts of cities. Continuous intake of untreated sewerage irrigated vegetables gives rise to various ailments including cancer. Leafy vegetables, including cabbage and spinach grow well in sewerage water but germ infestation increase in such untreated water.(All this has appeared in an important english daily, while I am writing to you.)
All fruits available in market are chemically polished to give them a better look, many fruits such as banana, mangoes, water melon, sweet melon are also given chemical injections to mature them before time.
Our staple food of wheat and rice are also being given overdose of fertilizers apart from the already high quantum of fertilizer-pesticide already present in the sub soil
Last but not the least 40% of Punjab is yet without safe drinking water. Even those with the facility of safe drinking water are not sure of the quality of water as our rivers, rivulets and small streams are all contaminated with industrial waste and other pollutants that go unchecked into them
Although our Health Minister Smt. Laxmi Kanta Chawla is a well meaning person with a no nonsense approach, yet this menace is beyond the control of one department which now requires the urgent attention of the entire govt. and the society.
Therefore, in order to save our society from further complications of multipronged diseases such as mentioned above it is highly imperative that we bring this burning issue on our state top priority agenda. This menace needs to be fought on war footing by take stringent measures and if need be even make drastic changes in our present laws to take on adulterators and all those adding poison to our milk, vegetables, fruits etc. Like developed western countries we need to keep strict vigil on quality of food with more govt. staff, more laboratories, strict implementation of laws available and all this without any political interference.
I hope my suggestions would be taken in the right earnest and immediate steps would be taken to fight this evil harming our society at the earliest. In case you feel appropriate an urgent session of the Vidhan Sabha can be summoned to discuss, deliberate and divulge solely on this issue without political motives, lets all fight this menace together.