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NHRC issues notices over presence of pesticides in food items beyond permissible limit
Taking suo motu cognizance of a media report, based on the findings of the Union Agriculture Ministry, that there has been an almost two-fold increase in the number of samples containing pesticides above the permitted Maximum Residue Level (MRL) in vegetables, fruits, meat and spices in the last six years, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issued notices to the Chairperson, Food and Safety Standard Authority of India; Secretary, Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries and Secretaries, In-Charge of Food and Agriculture of all States.
The NHRC has asked all these authorities to reply to the notice in eight weeks. The NHRC member Justice D. Murugesan, Member also asked them to inform, within eight weeks, about the action taken to minimize the residue level in vegetables, foods, meat and spices.

According to a press release by the NHRC, Justice Murugesan observed, "It is to be emphasized that any food article, which is hazardous and injurious to public health, is a potential danger to the Fundamental Right to Life. The enjoyment of life and attainment, including right to life and human dignity encompasses, within its ambit availability of articles of food, without insecticides or pesticides residues, veterinary drugs residues, antibiotic residues, solvent residues etc."

According to the report, it is well-known that vegetables sold in major cities contain pesticides. The report said that the situation was even more alarming in Delhi and Mumbai.

Out of 629 samples analyzed by PC Cell Centres, Delhi 223 samples reportedly contained residue out of which 20 samples contained it above the MRL.

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