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Indians are buying highly contaminated food items. Almost everything is affected, whether it be grain, vegetables, fruit, daals, or others.  The stuff available in Indian stores has much higher levels of harmful pesticides compared to developed countries.

We often talk about the problems with industrialised agriculture, and the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides. But, we must remember that their use is controlled and regulated. The pesticides are used within allowed guidelines. Indiscriminate use usually does not happen in the developed world.  Illegal use does not occur because of the fear of rejection of the produce by markets, and of getting caught in routine inspections by regulators.  They may suffer expensive recalls, and if they find illegal use, there could also be lawsuits and jail terms.

In India, we have the double problem of indiscriminate use and absent regulators.  Indiscriminate use by illiterate farmers is rampant. Some unscrupulous farmers know that they will not get caught. Not only do they misuse allowed pesticides, but they also use illegal pesticides. 

Indian grocery retailers and supply chains lack the technology to detect such toxic produce. Even worse, our regulatory bodies cannot detect, stop or control. They do not have the human resources or the technology to do this across the country, and link it back to the people who caused the contamination.

There is also the problem of illegal or unnecessary use of massive doses of fungicides and insecticides. This kind of use happens in storage godowns by wholesalers and retailers. Again, often in unlawful, high, doses, and sometimes using illicit chemicals.

In India, we are happy buying vegetables, fruit, grain, daals and spices, and ignorantly slow poisoning ourselves.

The Indian Government must invest in expanding its food safety regulatory capacity and technology. The budget to ensure safe food needs to go up 20 to 40 times! The government must provide safe food for our people

Read the article that inspired this post here: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/pesticides-a-major-component-of-citys-staple-reveals-fssai-report/articleshow/71678693.cms?UTM_Source=Google_Newsstand&UTM_Campaign=RSS_Feed&UTM_Medium=Referral

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