Guess what?? Now Delhi is not only breathing toxic air but eating toxins as well!!
The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has reported around 84% of 38 commonly available brands of pre-packaged breads when tested have shown positive results for potassium bromate and potassium iodate. A category 2B carcinogen, Potassium bromate can cause cancer whereas Potassium iodate is known to trigger thyroid disorder. An official Statement given by the CSE says “The study, conducted by CSE’s Pollution Monitoring Laboratory (PML), says potassium bromate and potassium iodate are used by Indian bread manufacturers in treating flour while making bread,”
Conducted in between May 2015 and April 2016 this study has revealed that the assemblage of potassium bromate and potassium iodate was the highest in pav, white bread and buns. Ranging in between 22.52 parts per million (ppm) to 11.52 ppm. In brown bread, this range was found to be between 8.16 and 1.15 ppm.
No set standards are available in India currently for the permissible limit of usage of these two chemicals in final products, only a limit of 50 ppm of usage in flour is set by food regulator FSSAI.
Chandra Bhushan, the deputy director general, CSE, and head of the Centre’s lab said in an official statement “We re-confirmed the presence of potassium bromate/iodate in some samples through an external third-party laboratory,”
Major food companies like Britannia, Jubilant Food Works, McDonald’s India, KFC and Subway are named in the said study. However, there spokespersons in separate statements said that their products were fully in compliance with safety regulations. Despite these companies denying the allegations against them the union health minister has asked for a report regarding the same.
Also the doctors said the quantity of chemicals present in breads was very high. “Though these chemicals are not directly cancer-causing but may lead to cancer after reacting inside the body. The amount they are saying has been detected is alarmingly high and needs further testing in a government lab,” said Dr PK Julka, former head, radiation oncology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences. “Since zero presence is not possible, we go by something called the ALARA principle — as low as reasonably achievable.”
CSE has given certain recommendations like FSSAI ban the use of potassium bromate and potassium iodate in bread immediately. Also, it said that The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) should amend the relevant standards currently available. The industry, it said, could easily shift to additives such as ascorbic acid and glucose oxidase.
Also, certain general precautions regarding this bread consumption could be taken up by the people. And inclusion of foods and beverages in daily diet that aid in cancer prevention like Coffee, Broccoli, and Papaya etc should be done. As it’s rightly said “The food you eat can be either the safest or powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison”