Karnataka govt bans artificial food colour in ‘gobi manchurian’, cotton candy

Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dinesh Gundu Rao made this announcement in the Vidhana Soudha.

Bengaluru: The Karnataka government has banned the use of artificial colours in the popular Gobi Manchurian dish and cotton candies liked by children, after a lab test found them carcinogenic.

Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dinesh Gundu Rao made this announcement in the Vidhana Soudha.

Based on complaints by public and media, the samples of Gobi Manchurian and cotton candies sold out to people were collected from across the state and examined at the state laboratories, he stated.

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Minister Rao explained: “171 samples of Gobi Manchurian were collected, among which, 107 samples contained unsafe artificial colours. The unsafe colours such as tartrazine, sunset yellow and carmoisine were found.”

“About 25 cotton candy samples were collected and 15 samples contained unsafe colours. In this, tartrazine, sunset yellow and Rhodamine –B unsafe colours were found. Rhodamine-B is carcinogenic. It can cause cancer if you consume it regularly and is banned. This is a serious issue as children often consume cotton candy. The use of this colour is illegal. It was used to get the pink colour for the cotton candy,” Rao explained further.

The circular in this regard has been issued and awareness programmes will also be held. Strict legal action would be initiated in this regard. Further samples would be collected to initiate legal proceedings, he stated.

The artificial colours are unsafe under the Guidelines 3(1) of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. As per the Rule 16.0 of the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011, no artificial colours should be used to prepare the Gobi Manchurian dish. “Hence, use of any artificial colour is prohibited,” he stated.

In case of any violation, under the Food Safety and Standards Act, a case would be lodged in the court which attract punishment of imprisonment of five years to life sentence. The fine of Rs 10 lakh will also be levied.

If the food with artificial colours is consumed for a long time, one could be affected with cancer. “The public is requested to not consume or to bring down consumption of food with artificial colours,” he appealed.

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