It’s hard to digest, but the fact is that 775 metric tonnes of toor lemon daal, which could have fed lakhs of people in a country still battling problems of poverty and malnourishment, will now be utilised as cattle fodder.
All because, instead of being processed and sent to the market, the precious consignment was gathering mould at a godown in Navi Mumbai for months. MiD DAY had reported the situation on July 19 (‘As prices soar, 775 tonnes of toor daal go to waste’).
In a recent report by Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Thane – a copy of which is available with MiD DAY – it was acknowledged that the entire batch of the imported pulses does not conform to the norms laid down by Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulation 2011, and consequently was unfit for human consumption.
The key reason behind the crop not reaching consumers is a long-standing litigation between Muscovite Agro Trading Company and Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation (MMTC) of India Limited -- the latter is a Government of India enterprise.
As per the description of the physical appearance of the daal in the FDA report, ‘the brownish-coloured whole toor lemon had been bored by insects, consisted of animal filth, live and dead insects, husk, straws, and stones’.
Speaking to MiD DAY, Ganesh Parlikar, assistant commissioner, Thane FDA, said, “According to the report of the analyst, most of the specimens we collected contained over 45 per cent of ‘weeviled’ grains (weevils are various beetles, which destroy crops such as grains and cotton). So, we have suggested that the complete consignment be used as cattle fodder, considering it is not appropriate for human consumption.” Parlikar added that the findings have already been submitted to the concerned parties.
The amount of toor daal produced after processing 775 tonnes of raw toor lemon