NEW DELHI: Alarmed over the increase in the quantity of pesticides found in fruits and vegetables, the National Human Rights Commission, taking cognisance of several reports, on Friday issued a notice to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
The Union Agriculture Ministry’s findings show that in the past six years there has been a two-fold increase in the number of samples of vegetables, fruits, meat and spices containing pesticides.
The NHRC has also issued notices to the Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries and secretaries in charge of the food and supplies departments in all state governments.
Terming it a case of human rights violation, Justice D Murugesan has sought a response within eight weeks about action taken to minimise pesticide residue in food.
Pointing out the hazardous effects of pesticides on the lives of people, Murugesan said, “It is to be emphasised that any food article that is hazardous and injurious to public health is a potential danger to the Fundamental Right to Life. The enjoyment of life, including right to life and human dignity, encompasses within its ambit, availability of articles of food without insecticide or pesticide residues, veterinary drug residues, antibiotics residues, solvent residues etc.
“Though it is the sole duty of the state to achieve an appropriate level for protection of human life and health — a fundamental right, reports of rampant use of pesticides continue to pour in,” he said.