Food & Agri

Pesticide residue row: Food Safety Commissioners of south to meet

Friday, Jul 3, 2015,19:26 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Thiruvananthapuram | A meeting of Food Safety Commissioners and Food Secretaries of south Indian States will be held here on July 21.
The meeting, which would be chaired by Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, is aimed at ensuring import of pesticide-free vegetables to Kerala from other south Indian states, official sources said today.
Kerala has already decided to form State level and Area level committees for coordinating the activities to stop the import of vegetables containing pesticides from other states.
As part of stopping the import of vegetables containing pesticides, various measures have been initiated, it added.
Earlier, Kerala has asked the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India to convene a meeting of the Food Safety Commissioners and Health Secretaries of the southern States to stop the import of vegetables containing pesticide to Kerala.
The Government is also planning to convene a meeting of wholesale dealers who purchase vegetables from neighbouring states for sale in Kerala. The State Food Safety wing has already initiated state-wide raids under Operation Ruchi for checking the use of pesticides in fruits and vegetables and adulterants in other food items including packaged food items, edible oils, milk and packaged drinking water.
Operation Ruchi will cover vegetable shops, bakeries, restaurants, super markets and hyper markets.
At present, the vegetable cultivation in the state has grown from 40 per cent to 70 per cent. Steps have been taken by the agriculture department to see that the rest 30% is also met. Kerala will also open Special Courts to handle cases related with food safety.