Home » FSS ACT » FDA seizes oil, ghee worth Rs 2 crore over high nickel content

FDA seizes oil, ghee worth Rs 2 crore over high nickel content

Nickel is used as a catalyst in oil, but may prove to be carcinogenic if found in larger quantities
The Pune Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has seized edible oil and Vanaspati ghee worth over Rs 2 crore, manufactured by the Cargill India Pvt Ltd, after tests revealed that the products had nickel content that was more than the permissible limit.
The company, with its headquarters in Gurgaon, Haryana, has a branch in Daund district, wherein its popular products, Gemini sunflower oil and Vanaspati ghee, are manufactured. However, both products were found to have violated norms.
Confirming the same, FDA assistant commissioner SB Naragude said, “After a source shared information about Cargill having violated norms of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, we immediately collected samples of its products. Upon running tests on these, we found a high level of nickel in them, which was double the permissible amounts. This is extremely harmful to the human body.”
Elaborating more on the ill effects of high consumption of nickel, Naragude said, “High nickel content can lead to many illnesses, a higher chance of developing various forms of cancer like lungs, nose, larynx and so on. It may also lead to allergic reactions and rashes. Among the products we tested, we found nickel content had risen to an extremely high level. Nickel is used as a catalyst in oil, but at 1.5 ppm, we found that it was nearly double the limits permitted by the World Health Organisation. Seeing this adulteration in oil and ghee, we seized all products they had, worth Rs 2 crore in all. We have communicated this to the company and are expecting their response. Meanwhile, we are also in the process of raiding other food companies like Wipro as we have received certain complaints against them as well.”
When contacted, Ganesh Kulkarni, national quality head, Cargill India Pvt Ltd, said, “FDA has held our products. However, our products fulfil all Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) regulations and are regularly tested in accredited labs. We take food safety very seriously and are working with the authorities to understand their concerns.”

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