Wednesday, September 30, 2009


There are always two views for any issue confronting mankind, often diametrically opposite and truth is invariably difficult to be discerned. The advantages of food processing and consuming only unprocessed foods have been endlessly debated without any unanimity of views on this issue. There is also the view that food technology is inevitable for the survival of humanity as food is seasonal and perishable and intervention of technology only can preserve and extend the supply by preventing avoidable wastage, estimated any where between 20 and 40% of total production. But the manner in which some in the profit-motivated food industry apply technology without caring for social, ethical and safety considerations is a matter of concern to many. From time to time"horror" reports do emanate damning the industry for a variety of "crimes", some real, some motivated and some imaginary.

The latest to come out depicting the undesirable practices by some food manufacturers is a documentary film which has received accolades from many quarters. "In 'Food, Inc', filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on the nation's food industry, exposing the mechanized underbelly that he contends has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of the government's regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Kenner maintains America's food supply is controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and the environment".

If such films can offer a lesson, it is that food industry world over must adhere to certain minimum standards in tune with international norms without compromise and transparency in thoughts and deeds can only win over alienated consumers who are skeptical about the motives of the industry in general. Faithful adherence to GMP, HACCP and other safety regimes now available can help the industry, if it is serious about its concerns for the consumer.

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