CHENNAI: The Food Safety and Standard Authority (FSSA) in Chennai has been directed by the Madras High Court to examine within three months an allegation that ‘maida’ is being adulterated by mixing certain chemicals by the manufacturers and to take appropriate action if it is found true.
The First Bench of Chief Justice SK Kaul and Justice MM Sundresh gave this direction last week, while disposing of a PIL from K Rajendran of Thethakudi South in Vedaranyam taluk, which prayed for a direction from the court to the FSSA to act on his representation and to ban the manufacturing and marketing and consuming of “Alloxen-contained white flour.”
The representation of the petitioner dated March 14 this year is to be examined by making its own research and enquiry in the field and if what is alleged is found correct, the authority should proceed in accordance with law, the bench said.
According to advocate T Anandhi, alloxen- contained maida flour is prepared by removing the roughage or dietary fibre starches and bleached using “benzoic peroxide or chlorine oxide”. In addition to bleaching, it is softened by mixing alloxen, which is used in healthy animals in laboratory to induce diabetes.
The intake of food stuff made out of maida kills beta cells of pancreas and consequently the cells fail to operate normally and they will no longer produce insulin, which will result in diabetes in humans.
Petitioner said that he sought to know more truth through the RTI. As there was no reply, he made a representation to the authority on March 14 last and as it also did not yield any response, he filed the present PIL.
Disposing of the PIL, the Bench said that apparently, the petitioner had no expertise in the field to canvass what is sought to be submitted before us. “The issue, however, is important and our concern is that the cause does not get damaged because the petitioner has no expertise in the field. At this stage, thus we only issue a direction to the authorities to examine the representation made by the petitioner by making its own research and enquiry in the field and if what is alleged is found correct, to proceed in accordance with law”.