The salient features of the prevention of Food Adulteration Act includes objectives, definition of food, meaning of adulterate, misbranded items, sale of certain admixtures, relevant committees, analyst, procedure for sampling & analysis, penalties and important miscellaneous provisions. Food is one of the basic necessities for sustenance of life, pure, fresh and healthy diet is most essential for the health of the people. Adulteration of food- stuffs was so rampant, widespread and persistent that nothing short of a somewhat drastic remedy in the form of a comprehensive legislation became the need of the hour. To check this kind of anti- social evil a concerted and determined onslaught was launched by the government by introduction of the prevention of Food Adulteration bill in the parliament to hear an era of much needed people hope and relief for the consumer at large.
Some of the objectives of prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 are as follows:
•To make provision for the prevention of adulteration of food.
•To protect the public from poisonous and harmful foods
•To prevent the sale of substandard foods.
•To protect the interests of the consumer by eliminating fraudulent practices.
•To prevent import, manufacture, sale or distribution of adulterated and misbranded food.
The administrative bodies under the prevention of Food Adulteration Act are:
•Central committee for food standard.
•Central food laboratory.
1. Central committee for food standard:
The central government shall appoint a secretary, to the committee who shall, under the control and the direction of the committee, exercises such pores and perform such duties as may be prescribed as may be delegated to him by the committee.
2. Central food laboratory:
The central government shall, by notification in the official gazette, establish one or more central food laboratory or laboratories to carry out the functions entrusted to the central food laboratory by this act or any rules made under this act provides that the central government may by notification in the official gazette, also specify any laboratory or institute as central food laboratory for purpose of this act.
3. Public analyst:
Public analyst provides that no person who has any interest in the manufacture, import or sale of any article of food shall be appointed to be public analyst under this section. Provided that further different Public analyst may be appointed for different article of food.
4. Food inspector:
Every food inspector shall be deemed to be a public servant within the meaning of section 21 of the Indian Penal Code (45 to 1860) and shall be officially subordinate to such authority as the government appointing him, may specify in this behalf:
A Food inspector has power:
• To take sample of any article of food.
• To send such sample for analysis to the Public analyst for the local area, within which such sample, has been taken
• With the previous approval of the local (health) authority having jurisdiction in the local area concerned, or with the previous approval of the food(healthy) authority, to prohibit the sale of any article of food in the interest of public health.
Dalchand vs. Municipal Corporation Bhopal (1984)2 SCC 486: AIR 1983 SC 303
The Supreme Court had occasion to consider are the circumstances under which a particular provision could be held to be mandatory. Here there is no contention that in sending the sample to the Public analyst the time limit in the rule 17(a) was not observed.
The Public analyst received the sample with seals intact and the sample was found for analyst also. The samples themselves were in sealed packets and the result of analysis was that the sample was wholly corn-starch and not arrow root powder. Even by a slight defect in the sealed container or sealed packet there is no question of any prejudices.
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