Sunday, July 21, 2013

Forensic tests confirm pesticide in midday meal

PATNA:Jul 21, 2013,(7starnews)

Forensic tests have confirmed presence of poisonous pesticides in the mid-day meal served to students of a primary school in Chhapra on July 16, leading to the death of at least 27 children. The cooking oil, used to prepare food at the school, was laced with highly toxic pesticide, the report said on Saturday.

The forensic science laboratory (FSL) said the contaminated food contained monocrotophos, an organophosphate insecticide, after experts examined samples of oil from the container, food remains on the platter and remains of food items in the utensils, additional director general of police (HQ) Ravindra Kumar said.

Revealing the FSL findings, Kumar said the froth from the mouth of one of the sick children was collected on a cotton gauge on that day. The FSL team had also collected samples of water used by the school kids besides the oil used in preparing vegetables for the mid-day meal at Dharmashati Gandaman Primary School in Saran district, about 80 km from here.

The ADG said the FSL used the standard analytical method of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) which detected monocrotophos which is very toxic to humans and other animals. It is used as a pesticide. Quoting from the data of the forensic report, he said, \"the peak area of the poisonous substance in the oil was more than five times in comparison to the commercial preparation used as pest control.\"

He said the results were interpreted by using the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) library, an internationally accepted database.

He said police are probing how and from where the poisonous substance got mixed in the oil.

The post mortem report had confirmed presence of a poisonous substance in the potato-soyabean curry served to the children.
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