Right to Live Includes Right to Have Good Food

Ipsita Mishra

Supreme Court has said that the right to life and dignity also includes right to have good food free from harmful pesticides and insecticides, antibiotic residues, etc. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India have been asked to conduct surprise inspections of major vegetable and fruits markets. State has a duty to achieve an appropriate level of health and protection of human life. Food article that is harmful to health is against Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act along with its rules and regulations is sufficient to deal with the grievances and hence an independent technical panel is not required to evaluate the harmful effects on human health. The enforcement by the authorities functioning under these legislations is the only issue. The provisions of the FSS and PFA Acts etc should be interpreted and applied in the light of the constitutional principles. Many food articles contain insecticides or pesticides residues beyond tolerable limits. Children are susceptible to the effects of pesticides because of their physiological immaturity and greater exposure to soft drinks and junks etc. The misleading advertisements targeting the children should be controlled.

The Right to Food Campaign is an attempt to realize the aspirations and guarantees enshrined in the Indian Constitution. Article 3.1 of the Human Rights declaration states that the states have the primary responsibility for the creation of national and international conditions favorable to the realization of the right to development. Article 8.1 further provides equality of opportunity for all in their access to basic resources, education, health services, food, housing, employment and the fair distribution of income. Further, Article 21 of the Constitution of India guarantees a fundamental right to life which includes the right to health and its determining factors, including food.

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