Needless to say, food adulteration is a major problem in India, something which endangers public health seriously. In one such major adulteration bust, police in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras have unearthed a a spice manufacturing unit which used to make spurious and counterfeit spices of local brands using donkey dung, hay and acid. Also Read - Fake Call Centre Duping US Nationals Busted in Gurugram, 2 Arrested
The case came to light on Monday when Hathras police raided a factory after receiving a tip-off and found more than 300 kg of counterfeit spices. The factory owner named Anoop Varshney has been arrested and the factory itself has now been sealed, Times of India reported.
At the factory, many spices like red chilli powder, garam masala, coriander powder, turmeric were found, however, all of these spices were being made with fake ingredients like donkey dung, artificial colours that are inedible and even dangerous to health.
As many as 27 samples from the factory have sent to the laboratories for testing and a case will be filed against the owner under the Food Safety and Standards Act if test results are confirmed.
Joint magistrate Prem Prakash Meena said, “We have seized over 300 kg of fake spices being packed in names of some local brands.” Meena also said that Varshney was unable to provide a license for operating the spice factory at the location where it was being run. He also could not produce the license of the brands, which were being packed.
Varshney has now been remanded to judicial custody under section 151 of the CrPC (arrest to prevent the commission of cognizable offences).
According to food department officials, the adulterants in the spices prove to be a health hazard if consumed over a long period of time.
Recently, an investigation conducted by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) found rampant adulteration in honey sold by major Indian brands including Dabur, Patanjali, and Emami. The CSE investigation also said many of these companies in the honey business were importing synthetic sugar syrups from China to adulterate honey.