Monocrotophos contaminated food killed 23 children

Poisoned food killed 23 children at an Indian school on 16th July. Forensic experts found traces of a chemical compound monocrotophos five times stronger than its level used in commercial pesticide, said the chief of police in Bihar.

Investigators had discovered the compound, monocrotophos, in a plastic container that stored mustard oil for cooking at the school, as well as on eating utensils and leftover vegetables from Tuesday’s meal.

It wasn’t found in rice, according to the forensic report, which was issued Saturday, two days later than the state government had said it planned. The compound had no appropriate role in the food program and shouldn’t have been present in the food, according to authorities.

The nationwide scheme feeds some 120 million youngsters every day and is seen as key to persuading parents who are battling poverty to send their children to school rather than condemn them to illiteracy and malnutrition.

This incidence has rocked trust in the world’s largest free school meals scheme, but experts say some pupils have no choice but to eat the lunches.

“With the continuing problem of child malnutrition, poverty and illiteracy, such integrated programs like this one “Midday Meal Scheme” will be needed for India to overcome multiple social issues related to education and health, says Dr. Anil Singhal from SpiritIndia.com

Source: Health Newstrack, India

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