FOOD REGULATOR SITTING ON PLAN TO BAN CHEMICAL IN BREAD BRANDS
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