Friday, 8 November 2013

Menace of Adulteration

Are you confident about the purity of the food that you consume? Ironically, we are conscious victims of food adulteration. The increasing incidence of diseases today, is, to some extent, related to adulteration.

Adulteration is a lucrative business today, profit being the key objective. The most basic foods we consume today are adulterated. Think of any food item – the milk you drink, the pulses and cereals you consume, the spices you add to food for a delicious flavor, the beverages you drink – there is almost no product that is not adulterated. Even baby food products not to mention vegetables and canned fruits, are adulterated.

For some time news hit the headlines about the supply of chemical milk in the market. Come a big festive celebration like Diwali and news about adulterated sweets hit as breaking news. But, consciously or unconsciously we hardly pay heed to the same and continue consuming adulterated food. Indeed it does negatively impact upon our health!

Here are few adulterants and diseases caused by the same:
·         Urea used in milk damage the heart and kidneys in the long run
·         Argenome seeds and oil used in mustard seeds, edible oils and fats cause cardiac arrest, glaucoma, and epidemic dropsy
·         Saw dust and exhausted tea leaves mixed in tea causes cancer and other health problems
·         Rancid oil used in oils destroys Vitamin A and E
·         TCP used in oils cause paralysis
·         Filth, marble chips, stones, sand used in food grains and pulses damage the digestive tract
·         Artificial colors used in various food items including turmeric, chilly powder, etc. cause cancer
·         Mineral oil used in edible oils and fats cause cancer
·         Methanol used in alcoholic liquors cause blindness, blurred vision, and even death
·         Lead chromate used in turmeric and spices causes brain damage, abortion in pregnant women, anemia, and paralysis
·         Arsenic sprayed in fruits to retain freshness causes dizziness, cramps, paralysis, chills, and even death
·         Cobalt mixed in water and liquors causes cardiac problems.

And the list of adulterants and diseases goes on. There are adulterants used in basic food items we consume everyday that affect the central nervous system, cause hepatitis, skin diseases, and more. Children are the most vulnerable to diseases caused by adulterated food.  Anemia, mental retardation, brain and liver damage are common diseases affecting children.

Adulterated products also affect mortality rates. According to a survey, the adulteration-quality ratio is approximately 30:70. If the menace is not curbed, the ratio would only turn to 70:30.This would only worsen quality of lives and affect the health of people at large. Stringent laws and the need to consider food adulteration as a serious crime is something under consideration however as citizens it’s We the People who need to raise our Awareness and be vigilant enough to not become consumers of adulterated products.

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