From rat poison found in vegetables and Diwali-festival sweets laced with caustic soda, to batches of moonshine liquor that kill scores of people at a time — adulteration is rife.
A report by the FSSAI in January found that most of the country’s milk was watered down or adulterated with products — including fertiliser, bleach and detergent — used to thicken the milk and help give it a white, frothy appearance.
But that is just the tip of the iceberg. The same agency has also found that 13 percent of all food in the world’s second-most-populous country failed to meet its standards.
“The problem is so widespread that everything is contaminated,” said Savvy Soumya Misra of the New Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). “If everything has problems, there is no choice but to eat whatever is available.”