MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court directed the Tamil Nadu Food Safety Department to file an action taken report on steps taken to prevent adulteration in palm jaggery (karuppatti) and palm misri (panankarkandu).
A two-member bench comprising Justices MM Sundresh and S Ananthi gave the direction on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by president of Udangudi Pannal Karuppatti and Pannal Karkandu Producers Association, one GT Chandrasekaran of Thoothukudi.
Chandrasekaran submitted that with more people showing interest in traditional Tamil foods like palm products, food adulteration mafias are adulterating palm products to earn profit.
"They purchase substandard and waste white sugar and sugarcane jaggery wastes and are manufacturing adulterated palm jaggery and palm misri by adding Cem powder (lime powder) and chemical essence," he stated.
He alleged that food safety officials are also conniving with such persons and have given a wrong interpretation to the Food Safety and Standards Rules, 2011 as if palm jaggery and misri need not be produced from palm juice but can be made out of any sweet substance.
He also claimed that a food safety official sent a communication to him in June 2020 that the district collector has permitted the same due to paucity in availability of the products in the market.
Chandrasekaran prayed the court to direct the authorities to stop adulteration of palm products. The case was adjourned to January 28.