By Zafar Abbas
While authorities in the country are busy tackling the coronavirus pandemic, unscrupulous elements are milking the situation to their advantage by manufacturing and pushing fake and spurious consumable products into the markets, putting the health of gullible and unaware consumers at risk.
A case in point is the busting of a racket at Bawana in Delhi recently, wherein spurious desi ghee or clarified butter was manufactured. Delhi Police seized 284 cartons of fake desi ghee and raw material and equipment in a joint raid with the Food Safety Department.
“We arrested five accused after the raid. We found that they were involved in running a factory to manufacture spurious desi ghee,” said Gaurav Sharma, DCP, Outer North Delhi.
The Food Safety Department took samples from the factory. In all, 65 cartons of spurious ghee, seven tins of desi ghee, 212 tins of refined oil, 149 tins of hydrogenated vegetable oil, flavour, edible colours, electric sealing and stamping machines, weighing machine, 600 empty tins, stickers, wrappers, tetra packs, and 2,500 empty plastic jars were seized.
Those arrested included factory owner Sandeep, Akshay, Rohit, Ratan, and Ankesh.
In April, during the lockdown, a truck loaded with fake desi ghee was intercepted in Mangolpuri and 600 cartons with packaged spurious product bearing trademarks/brands of reputed manufacturers were seized.
Officials pointed out that spurious desi ghee is prepared by boiling vegetable oil and mixing it with soyabean oil. Later, essence of desi ghee is added to hoodwink the customer. The spurious ghee packets illegally printed with logos and holograms of reputed manufacturers are thereafter sold at prevailing market prices to earn a neat profit.
(Zafar Abbas can be reached at [email protected])