FOOD REG­U­LA­TOR SIT­TING ON PLAN TO BAN CHEM­I­CAL IN BREAD BRANDS

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NEWS - Ku­mar Samb­hav Shri­vas­tava let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: A re­cent study found 85% of bread and bak­ery sam­ples tested in Delhi con­tained potas­sium bro­mate, a known car­cino­gen. An HT investigation has now re­vealed the Food Safety and Stan­dards Au­thor­ity of In­dia (FSSAI) had made up its mind to ban the chem­i­cal’s use as a food ad­di­tive four years ago but never im­ple­mented its de­ci­sion.

Potas­sium Bro­mate — used to make bread rise — is known to cause can­cer of the thy­roid, kid­ney and ab­dom­i­nal lin­ing, and is banned in sev­eral coun­tries in­clud­ing the Euro­pean Union, Canada, China, Aus­tralia and New Zealand. The WHO, Food and Agriculture Or­gan­i­sa­tion, and In­ter­na­tional Agency for Re­search on Can­cer have all found it to be po­ten­tially carcinogenic.

Fol­low­ing last month’s rev­e­la­tions by the Delhi-based think tank Cen­tre for Science and En­vi­ron­ment, the FSSAI said it would is­sue a no­ti­fi­ca­tion to re­move potas­sium bro­mate from the list of per­mit­ted food ad­di­tives.

Records of FSSAI meet­ings ac­cessed by HT, how­ever, show that on June 6, 2012, the food reg­u­la­tor “ap­proved the rec­om­men­da­tion” of its sci­en­tific com­mit­tee to ban the “use of potas­sium bro­mate as a food ad­di­tive”. The com­mit­tee had reached this con­clu­sion at its meet­ing on De­cem­ber 23, 2011. CON­TIN­UED ON P9

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