50 firms accused of adulteration

Kathmandu, December 28

The Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DoFTQC) — the government body authorised to conduct quality checks of foods — has filed cases against 50 business firms in the first four months of fiscal 2017-18 on charge of adulteration at District Administration Offices (DAOs).

As per the first quadrimester report published by the department today, cases have been filed basically against food industries like sweet manufacturers, confectioneries, dry food producers, water bottling plants, rice mills, oil producers and dairy firms.

“Among others, food industries were basically found selling sub-standard food items, outdated products and were not complying with the quality standards of the government. As cases have been filed against such firms at DAOs, the latter will initiate necessary action against these firms,” said Purna Chandra Osti, spokesperson for DoFTQC.

Among others, DoFTQC has filed cases against popular dairy firms like Nepal Dairy, Sujal Dairy and the government-owned Dairy Development Corporation (DDC) after their dairy products were found not complying with the quality standards of the government.

“During our inspection, we found dairy firms, sweet manufacturers and water bottling plants compromising on the quality of their products,” said Osti.

However, Osti said DoFTQC has not been able to carry out extensive inspection in market due to lack of necessary infrastructure and human resources. Similarly, outdated government policies related to food have been a major setback to control food adulteration in Nepal, as per him.

“Existing policies related to food have weak punishment provisions for malpractices in edibles. Owing to weak

legal provisions and low fines envisioned by law for selling substandard products, traders have been easily breaching quality standards in food products,” said Osti.

Meanwhile, DoFTQC has also urged the government to expedite the process of reforming Food Act of 1967 and Consumer Protection Act, 1998.