Loose edible oil on slippery slope

June 09, 2016 12:00 am | Updated September 16, 2016 11:42 am IST - New Delhi:

Voluntary consumer organisation, Consumer Voice, has found adulteration in loose edible oil sold in the open market across the country.

Laboratory tests on loose edible oil of eight varieties namely Mustard, sesame, coconut, sunflower, palmolein, soyabean, groundnut and cottonseed conducted by the Consumer Voice has found 85% of 1,015 samples collected from 15 States including Delhi were adulterated.

Test base

The base of the tests was both on quality and safety parameters as prescribed by the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) and samples were tested at the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories accredited laboratory, the Consumer Voice in a statement said.

Adulteration in oil can cause diseases like cancer, paralysis, allergy, liver damage, cardiac arrest and epidemic dropsy.

The 15 States covered for the samples collections include Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

The Consumer Voice says as per the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales Regulations 2011), no person is allowed to sell, expose to sale, distribute, offer for a sale, dispatch or deliver to anyone edible oils in loose form.

Public interest

The State government, however, in public interest, can exempt any or all edible oils from this regulation for a specific period.

“The main objective behind these tests made by Consumer Voice was to draw conclusive evidence based on scientific testing that loose edible oils sold are prone to various kinds of adulterations,” said Ashim Sanyal, Chief Operating Officer, Consumer Voice.

“This is true for all varieties of edible oil and cuts across all States where adulteration is done unhindered with no control by State FDA’s.”

The Consumer Voice collected samples of two largest selling varieties of oils in loose form from each State and tested them for visibility, odour, suspended particles, argemone oil and unsaponifiable matter.

The Consumer NGO found 85% samples of coconut oil, 74.07% samples of cottonseed oil, 74% sesame oil and 71.77% samples of mustard oil adulterated.

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