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Haldiram's snacks case: Pesticides in food 'permitted' in India as per company!

Written by Poorva Chavan |Updated : June 16, 2015 8:28 AM IST

After Nestle India with its poisonous Maggi noodles took its loyal customers for granted, another snacks giant, Haldiram, which manufactures snacks and sweets, seems to take its customers for a ride. Haldiram is not just limited to Indian customers, but also has a huge demand in the USA with many NRIs looking up to Haldiram's products for the taste of India.

The USFDA on its website says that most Indian products this year were found to contain high levels of pesticides, mold and bacteria and majority of these snacks belong to Nagpur-based food company Haldiram's. Pesticides were first found in Haldiram products in 2014 and since then the company's products have been refused for import 86 times. Fried and baked snacks were also deemed to be 'filthy, putrid, decomposed and unfit for consumption' and also contained some poisonous substance. Read: Study links pesticide exposure to increased risk of Alzheimer's.

Haldiram totally dismissed these charges and said that their products comply with USFDA laws.

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However, a senior officer from Haldiram told the Wall Street Journal, 'Our food is 100% safe and complies with the law of the land. A pesticide that is permitted in India may not be allowed there. And even if it is, they may not allow it in the same concentration as it is here'.

What is striking about his comment is that, do these manufacturing companies take Indians for granted? Are pesticides safe for Indians and unsafe only to Americans? And why are pesticides permitted in India? Should Indian authorities not be bothered about the health of a million of Indians who consume these products every day?

After the whole Maggi noodles and lead fiasco, the Indian FDA is expected to be more stringent when it comes to food laws. Standardisation of products and chalking the permissible limits for the food additives is the need of the hour.

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