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Comment piece: Of inedible food, regulation, and values

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Comment piece: Of inedible food, regulation, and values

Comment piece: Of inedible food, regulation, and values
July 24
17:26 2017

A truck overturned on Karakoram Highway KKH near Gilgit city and all its merchandise, mostly edible items, scattered on the road. The local people helped the driver in collecting the items and reloading on the truck. This is a common scene we come across almost every day on every road of Pakistani towns and cities. Apparently, the incident was not newsworthy in itself but it became viral on the social media. Some social media activists and narcissistic elements who never miss any opportunity to make a mountain out of a molehill and sensationalise things blurring facts and the actual story behind the story. They tried to compare the Bahawalpur oil tanker tragedy with this incident trying to prove that the cultural values and attitude of mountain region are superior to other areas. Some people on the social media are busy talking about “civic sense” and “honesty” of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan — even some known televangelists and social media activists have joined the feel good chorus and ultra-nationalist narcissist elements in proving certain communities “angels” and “puritan” free from all social malice. But what they ignored was the food items and brand of edible oils loaded on the overturned truck which are banned and have been declared unhygienic by the Punjab Food Authority (PFA).

This incident, on the one hand, shows the shallowness of the so-called educated lot, their understanding of social issues and apathy towards the real issues of the area and on the other hand also exposed how greed and lust for making quick bucks drives the traders, the most hypocrites and unscrupulous class, to play with the lives of the gullible people of GB by supplying substandard, spurious and expired food items to the area unhindered and unabated. The police and local administration officials are merely a silent spectator.

Some of the edible oils and biscuits bearing certain brand names scattered on the road have been banned in other cities of Punjab and KP. Through a recent public notice, the Punjab Food Authority listed food items especially oil and vanaspati brands, which are unhygienic and not fit for human consumption.

But it is an irony that markets of GB are flooded with such unhygienic food items manufactured illegally and supplied from various parts of KP and Punjab to the region. These food items including biscuits, candies, edible oils, chicken, spices, shampoo, beverages, milk powder etc., are being sold openly in the whole region while the authorities seem least bothered to take any action.

These products are of low quality and sold at low prices but the gullible people of the area are unaware of the substandard food items and their implications for their health.

It has also been observed that various diseases like cancer, cardiac-related problems and obesity which would be a rarity have increased alarmingly due to the use of these substandard food items.

It is high time that the health authorities of the GB woke-up and took some punitive action against the culprits who are playing with the health of the common people

Note: List of oil and vanaspati brands, published by Punjab Food Authority (PFA) which are not fit for human consumption:…/


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