Ban on Cancer-Causing Additive Found in Bread: FSSAI

A new report published by the Centre of Environment and Science (CSE) has revealed that more than 80% of 38 popular brands of breads, buns and burger, pizza and all other bread items tested positive for high rate of potassium bromate and iodate in it.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has removed potassium bromate from a list of permissible food additives and is examining the evidence against potassium iodate.

According to reports in The Scroll, of the 38 samples tested in Delhi, the environmental advocacy group found that 32 samples (or 84%) had between 1.15 and 22 parts per million of one or both the compounds. According to CSE high levels of potassium bromate or iodate were found in sandwich bread, pav, bun and white bread of virtually all top brands.

Potassium bromate is possibly carcinogenic for humans and has been shown to cause cancer in animals. The countries where this chemical are banned UK, European Union, Brazil, Canada, Nigeria, South Korea, Peru, Sri Lanka and China.

“We found 84% samples positive with potassium bromate or iodate. We reconfirmed the presence of potassium bromate or iodate in a few samples through an external third-party laboratory. We checked labels and talked to industry and scientists,” said Chandra Bhushan, deputy director-general of CSE as reported in Economic Times.

Reacting to the CSE report, Health Minister JP Nadda said as reported in Economic Times: “We are seized of the matter. I have told my officials to report to me on an urgent basis. There is no need to panic. Very soon we will come out with the report.” The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, the food regulator, has ordered a ban on the use of potassium bromate and potassium iodate with immediate effect.