KARNATAKA BANNED COLOUR AGENT (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     21st March 2024        

Context: Karnataka became the third State in South India to ban the use of certain colouring agents in cotton candy and gobi manchurian that are found to be harmful.

oThe decision follows similar steps taken in Tamil Nadu and Goa, and came after a survey by the Public Health Department that showed the presence of harmful chemicals present in the food samples, making them unsafe for consumption.

Points of Survey

  • Presence of Harmful Chemicals: Laboratory tests revealed the presence of harmful chemicals in many samples.
  • Cotton Candy Analysis: Out of the 25 cotton candy samples collected, 15 were deemed unsafe due to the presence of colors.
  • The remaining 10 samples were considered safe as they were made without added colors.

Harmful Chemicals Identified

  • Traces Found: Sunset yellow, tartrazine, and rhodamine-b detected in cotton candy samples, while tartrazine, sunset yellow, and carmoisine were found in gobi manchurian.
  • Rhodamine-B Ban: It is a suspected carcinogenic substance, is already banned.

oIt is a chemical compound widely utilized in synthetic dyes across various industries, including textiles, cosmetics, plastics, and food coloring.

  • Tartrazine Restrictions: Tartrazine, though approved, has usage restrictions, especially in freshly prepared food items.
  • Long-term Effects: Prolonged consumption of snacks with artificial colors can lead to severe diseases like cancer.

Regulatory Measures

  • Regulations: Food Safety and Standards Act prohibits the use of artificial colors beyond approved limits.
  • Penalties: Offenders face license cancellation, hefty fines starting from ₹10 lakh, and imprisonment ranging from a minimum of seven years to life for using banned chemical substances in food products.