Taking a proactive move in examining the use of cancer-causing chemicals in bread, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, has banned the use of potassium bromate in bread manufacturing in India. The authority, however, is still examining evidence against potassium iodate before restricting its use.
Yesterday, CSE had released its new study which had highlighted the widespread use and presence of residues of potassium bromate/iodate in bread sold in Delhi. The study, conducted by CSE’s Pollution Monitoring Laboratory (PML), said as much as 84% of 38 commonly available brands of pre-packaged breads and ready-to-eat pizza breads of popular fast food outlets from Delhi tested positive for potassium bromate and potassium iodate.
“A scientific panel had recommended removal of potassium bromate from the list of additives. So we have already decided to take it out from the list. Soon it will be notified,” Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) CEO Pawan Kumar Agarwal was quoted as saying in PTI.
“As far as potassium iodate is concerned, we are examining the evidence and soon a decision will be taken,” he added.
The use of these above mentioned chemicals in the bread-making sector has been banned in many countries because they are listed as hazardous for public health: one is a category 2B carcinogen (possibly carcinogenic to humans) and the other could trigger thyroid disorders.
“We welcome the steps initiated by FSSAI to ban potassium bromate and evaluate the use of potassium iodate – we hope a ban on potassium iodate will follow. The Authority’s quick response to what we found in our study reestablishes our stand that public health must remain a priority,” Chandra Bhushan, deputy director general, CSE, said in a press statement.