Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Karnataka Government Takes Bold Step to Ban Harmful Colours in Popular Food Items

Written By A Srinivasan (Grade 12)


The Karnataka government has lately introduced a crucial policy on public health against the use of unnatural additives for popular snacks such as the infamous Gobi Manchurian and cotton candy. The unanimous decision took place after cancer-causing agents in food items were detected during the mandatory inspections, which are routinely conducted.

The ban is imposed after tests detected that artificially coloured substances are found in huge amounts in samples extracted from across the state. Out of 171 analysed samples of Gobi Manchurian, 107 were exposed to the contamination of artificial colours, while artificial colours were detected in 15 of the 25 cotton candy samples as well. These discoveries required taking suitable measures to protect citizens, especially children, from the harmful effects of these chemicals that may arise with long-term usage of them.

Rhodamine B is a particular example of the banned dyes, which is an artificial compound applied almost universally in fluorescent dyes. Nonetheless, rhodamine B is applied where microscopy and fluorescence imaging are required, only to raise health concerns due to its possibly carcinogenic nature. The long-term exposure to this chemical has already been linked with some health effects and even an increased cancer risk.

Besides the isolation of rhodamine B in other alcoholic beverages, compounds like tartrazine, sunset yellow dye, and other dyes could also be present in other samples. Such chemicals, being hazardous to human health, are prohibited by the Food Safety and Standards Act.

The absence of the ban on chemical substances as food additives by the agency of Karnataka reflects the necessity of strict regulations in food safety to avoid the consequences of such harmful chemicals. At a press conference, the Health and Family Welfare Minister, Dinesh Gundu Rao, focused on what the government has already done and what is still to be done in order to ensure that the Food and Safety Authorities of India do not allow these chemicals to be used during cooking.

It is important to note that while the ban prohibits the use of artificial colours in food items like Gobi Manchurian and cotton candy, it does not declare these dishes unsafe. The main aim is to ensure that vendors refrain from using such chemicals in their preparations. Breaching the ban could result in severe penalties like imprisonment and fines, or both, under the Food Safety and Standards Act. The prohibition in Karnataka is connected to similar actions in many states, like Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, which started to spread concern about chemically hazardous products. To tackle this challenge, the various efforts by regulatory bodies are essential, and they provide protection for public health.

Finally, the measure of artificial colours prohibited in food substances like Gobi Manchurian and cotton candies aligns with a government policy intending to guarantee food security by preventing the public from the contamination associated with hazardous additions. It is intentional notification of the continuous surveillance and enforcement of food safety rules that aims to protect the integrity of the food chain. Thus, it is to be anticipated that public health will not be affected as the food is safely delivered.


Featured Image Courtesy – AP7AM



A Srinivasan
A Srinivasan
I'm a passionate writer and I like writing on a regular basis in different fields and expanding my knowledge. I have been to a few workshops for writing which has tremendously moulded my writing ability and my way to present a topic.

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