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Bread Alert: Govt to take action after FSSAI report


Health minister JP Nadda asks food regulator to submit report at earliest.

New Delhi: A day after a study found cancer-causing chemicals in bread samples of virtually all top brands, the government on Tuesday said it will take appropriate action as soon as the country’s food regulator submits its report in the matter.

Health Minister JP Nadda said he has asked the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to take the matter seriously and submit a report at the earliest.

Nearly 84 %of 38 commonly available brands of prepackaged breads, including pav and buns, tested positive for potassium bromate and potassium iodate, banned in many countries as they are listed as “hazardous” for public health, a report by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said.

It claimed that while one of the chemicals is a category 2B carcinogen (possibly carcinogenic to humans), the other could trigger thyroid disorders but India has not banned their use.

FSSAI chief executive Pa-wan Kumar Agarwal said the regulator has recommended removal of potassi-um bromate from the list of permissible food additives to the health ministry “Potassium bromate is one of 11,000 food additives that are allowed in food business. After careful consideration, FSSAI has decided to remove potassium bromate from the list of permissible additives,” FSSAI CEO Pawan Kumar Agarwal said.

Shares of Jubilant FoodWorks and Britannia Industries on Tuesday ended lower as investors’ sentiment turned sluggish amid reports that bread samples of virtually all top brands in Delhi contained cancer-causing chemicals.

Jubilant FoodWorks operates Domino’s Pizza and Dunkin Donuts chains.

The scrip of Jubilant Food that lost 12.35 % to Rs. 975 in intra-day trade, later recovered most of its lost ground and finally ended at Rs. 1,063, down 4.45% on BSE.

Shares of Britannia too fell 1.06% to end at Rs. 2,652.55. Westlife Development, however, pared all its early losses and ended with a gain of 1.11% at Rs. 222.35 after falling 9 % to Rs. 200 during the day. It runs McDonald’s restaurants in the west and south through its subsidiary.

The tested bread samples included brands such as Britannia, Harvest Gold and the fast food chains like KFC, Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Subway, McDonald’s and Slice of Italy. Meanwhile industry body Assocham said the use of potassium bromate is with “full knowledge” of FSSAI and termed the research findings as “scare-mongering” by NG0s.

Source: Economic Times
(Photo: cuisineandhealth.com)

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