Our Staff Reporter FAISALABAD - Food insecurity and adulteration have not only worsened but also playing havoc with the lives of people. Taking exception to the menace, the Punjab government is taking tangible steps to avert a receipt of the disaster, said Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah on Monday. He addressed an International Conference titled Emerging Issues in Food Safety arranged by the National Institute of Food Sciences and Technology (NIFSAT), University of Agriculture, Faisalabad at Iqbal Auditorium. He said that the food insecurity was a burning issue affecting population all over the globe. He added that the country was running short of skilled manpower in the field that was compounding the problem. The provincial minister said that the survey of 2008 gave alarming figures about food security in the country, claiming only 24 percent of foods were up to the standards while the rest were facing challenges of adulterations etc. He said that 93 percent samples of milk were also found substandard. The minister said the provincial government had established the Punjab Food Authority to ensure availability of quality food and to deal with elements involved in adulteration, short measuring and overpricing. He stressed the need for adopting modern methods of inspections by the food inspectors to ensure quality food for the public and uplifting the sector. He said that now, the government is planning to adopt new procedure of appointing food inspectors. According to the recruitment policy, qualified food scientists would be recruited. He said that rule of foods were revised after 30 years that will bring fruitful results. He said: People are in a fix over getting the standardized food in the country because of adulteration mafia that would be dealt with stern action. He lauded the UAF for providing skilled manpower in the field of agriculture and launching new Degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics. UAF Vice Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan called for expediting the efforts for food security in the country to meet the requirement of increasing population touching 180 million. He said that it was the need of the hour to make the food market at par with the international standards. He said that the university in collaboration with Punjab Medical College had launched the Human Nutrition and Dietetics programme that will help overcome the issue of food safety by the trained manpower. He said that the university had also launched a degree in Food Processing Engineering in order to narrowing the gap of the trained manpower in the field. He said that the government has recently revised and notified Punjab Pure Food Rules that are in line with the food safety measures adopted by the developed countries. Prof Dr Faqir Muhammad Anjum, NIFSAT Director General, said that the objective of the conference is to create awareness in various stakeholders about current issues relating to food safety. He said that in the technical session as many as 73 papers will be presented by national and international scientists. He said there was no concrete database of food enterprises that could enable effective inspection and planning. He said that there were no mobile laboratories and field tests that are prerequisite to ensure the food safety. He said most foods were contaminated with toxic material such as pesticide residues, heavy metal and unauthorized food additives. Prof Dr Javaid Aziz Awan presented a vote of thanks. Moreover, the provincial minister inaugurated the three-day Food exhibition at D-Ground of the university. The university is used to organize such exhibition in a bid to promote the industry and agriculture sector of country. In the exhibition as many as 40 stalls have been set up by various organizations and the university. A large number of people flocked the exhibition at the first day.