GUWAHATI, Aug 27 - In order to create awareness on food safety among the people, the Consumer Rights Organisation, Assam, organised a workshop on 'Health hazards and food safety norms' in its conference hall at Christian Basti here on August 25 last, a press release said.
The resource persons at the workshop were LR Nampoi, Food Safety Officer, Tarun Das, Senior Food Safety Officer, and Anupjyoti Thakuria, Assistant Food Analyst, Govt of Assam.
The workshop was presided over by the Organisation's president Uttam Bhattacharryya. Naba Jyoti Changmai, general secretary, explained the objectives. The organisation's State-level adviser Bhupendra Nath Das, Kalyan Barthakur, Suresh Saikia, legal adviser Tridib Borooah, vice president Brij Kishore Singh, joint secretary Polly Chetia Barooah, treasurer Rabi Choudhury and executive members were present at the workshop. A number of social workers, consumer activists and media persons also took part in the discussion.
Inaugurating the session, LR Nampoi emphasized the need to educate consumers about unfair trade practices and food adulteration. He said the provisions under the food safety law should be publicised by non-governmental organizations for the benefit of the people. The eight laws that existed previously for checking food adulteration have been converted into a single legislation as the 'Food Safety Law' and it is a common legislation across all states of India, he said.
He also pointed out that despite its insufficient man power, the Organization is trying to provide all the necessary services to the consumers. They recently launched a campaign against the use of carbide and formalin, during which several hotels and restaurants in greater Guwahati were raided and many irregularities, unhygienic conditions and lack of safety measures were detected. Appropriate actions were taken against the offenders, he stated.
Citing an example in his speech, Senior Food Safety Officer Tarun Das mentioned that once a consumer purchases gram from the market, he/she should wash it at least four times with clean water before consuming, as the gram may contain harmful chemicals. He said FSSAI registration is important for ensuring food safety and the aim of every food business operator should be to provide satisfaction to every consumer.
Assistant Food Analyst Anupjyoti Thakuria apprised the gathering that with an aim to achieve better results in the scientific analyses of foodstuff, the State government has already placed order for more sophisticated machines, and they are expected to arrive in the State within the next six months. These machines will help in checking the use of pesticides, chemicals and fertilizers in vegetables, fruits and other edibles, he stated.