Karnataka Bans Harmful Food Colours in Cotton Candy and Gobi Manchurian

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Karnataka Bans Harmful Food Colours in Cotton Candy and Gobi Manchurian

| Updated: March 12, 2024 19:58

The Karnataka government has taken a decisive step by prohibiting the use of artificial colours in popular edible items like Gobi Manchurian and cotton candy. This ban comes in light of the discovery of Carcinogenic Chemicals present in the artificial colours used in these food products.

Health and Family Welfare Minister, Dinesh Gundu Rao disclosed that 171 samples of Gobi Manchurian were collected across the state, with artificial colours being detected in 107 samples. Similarly, out of 25 cotton candy samples, artificial colours were found in 15.

“In response to these findings, an order has been issued to ban the use of prohibited artificial colours, including Rhodamine-B, in Gobi Manchurian and cotton candy. Consumption of snacks containing these artificial colours may pose long-term health risks, including cancer. Therefore, the health department has taken this necessary action,” Dinesh Gundu Rao stated.

Rao further elaborated on the concerns regarding two specific chemicals – Tartrazine and Rhodamine-B. These chemicals are deemed unsafe for consumption, with Rhodamine-B being identified as carcinogenic. The presence of these chemicals in cotton candy is particularly alarming due to its popularity among children.

Addressing rumours surrounding the ban on Gobi Manchurian, Rao clarified that the dish itself is not unsafe. “When a colouring agent is used, it becomes unsafe… Can we ban Gobi Manchurian? No. We are just saying that the use of the chemical in the preparation of the dish is banned,” he explained.

Any vendor found to be using such chemicals could face imprisonment of up to seven years and fine of up to Rs 10 lakh.

A recent reminder issued by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India highlighted that out of the 15 cotton candy samples containing artificial colours, five were found to have used the Tartrazine dye, four used sunset yellow dye, and six contained Rhodamine-B. All three chemicals are known to cause various health complications, with Rhodamine-B specifically linked to cancer.

Using such chemicals violates the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products, Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011. The reminder also stressed the importance of avoiding excessive use of food colours and refraining from incorporating harmful chemicals like Rhodamine-B in food products.

This move by Karnataka follows similar actions taken by Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, both of which had previously banned the sale of cotton candy after Rhodamine-B samples were found in them.

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