Staff Correspondent

MYSORE: A “buy and burn” campaign against adulterated tea was launched here recently. This campaign was launched by the Mysore Grahakara Parishat (MGP) to raise awareness among the people on adulteration.

Former CFTRI director H.A.B. Parpia inaugurated the campaign at Saraswathipuram. S.N. Lakshminarayana, former Librarian of the University of Mysore; S.K. Ananda Thirtha, principal of K. Puttaswamy P.U. College, and Kalachenne Gowda were present.

Adulterated tea powder packets were burnt by the activists led by Ramalingam of MGP. “Adulteration of tea has been going on in a large scale in Mysore for several years. Tea sold under various brand names (which do not include well-known national brands) are being adulterated with cancer-causing colours such as metanil yellow (used normally to dye textiles), red oxide (used normally to give red colour to cement floors) and other dyes used in wall paints and leather industry. Most roadside tea stalls use such adulterated tea powder since it is cheaper than well-known brands. This practice is placing lakhs of Mysoreans under serious health threat,” Prof. Ramalingam said in a press release here.

Despite repeated warnings, the Mysore City Corporation had not taken this threat to public health seriously, he alleged. “Three weeks ago, MGP met the Mayor and demonstrated adulteration in tea. Shocked by this revelation, he ordered the Health Department of the MCC to take immediate action against the hazards of adulteration. The MCC conducted a few raids since then and seized adulterated tea from various shops,” he said.

To raise awareness among the shopkeepers about the dangers of adulterated tea, demonstrations by schoolchildren were held on the simple ways of testing adulteration.