Holi shocker! In Uttarakhand all those party people who are eyeing ‘natural colours’ for playing holi due to their ‘safety’ tag will actually play around with their health as those colour are unsafe. As per the latest sampling of ‘herbal and natural colours’ of Uttarakhand, a whooping 79% colours are found to be adulterated with highly toxic elements.
62 samples of colours were taken for test from 12 different places of Uttarakhand which had mix of branded and non-branded colours, 49 are identified in complete non-compliance to basic guidelines of safe herbal/natural colours as per the repot of Society of Pollution and Environment Conservation Scientists (SPECS).
Interestingly, Green which is in maximum used color in Uttarkahand, especially in Vikasnagar, Almora and Nainital, has been found out with highest toxicity (Copper Sulphate) followed by red(Mercury Sulphite) and purple (Chromium Iodide) colour.
The toxic elements found in the herbal and natural colours are major health threat, secretary of SPECS, Brij Mohan told to TOI, “The toxicity levels of these adulterated elements in the colours indicates that they will easily induce skin cancer, renal failure, minamata eye allergy, even temporary blindness in some cases. Another surprising fact which surfaced after testing these colours is that all these colours are 100% synthetic. The toxics produces being marketed in the society will cause major damage to young children and people with low immunity.”
Prior to festive season, SPECS has not only conducted testing of natural colours but it has also conducted food sampling and another shocker came into light with most used food item – mustard oil’s all the sample 100% adulterated.
Health department has turned complete blind eye and deaf ears towards one of the most significant issues of health- food adulteration – which is giving major leeway to the culprits responsible for food adulteration. Especially in the legal cases, culprits come out with a clean-chit due to failure of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) lab in Rudrapur to conduct sampling on time.
It is noteworthy that Uttarakhand health and family welfare department as of now is waiting for the results of 2015 Diwali food samples, forget about conducting Holi colours and food sampling. And what’s more interesting is the guideline of FSSAI states that within 14 days food products sample testing should be done due to its vulnerability to rotting.
Lab analyst of FSSAI lab in Rudrapur, Rajesh Sharma, stating reason behind failure in conducting sampling on time, told to TOI, “We fail to do sampling of drugs and food on time due to manpower and infrastructure shortage however, this time our target is to bring out the result of holi food samples within one week, provided there is no electricity shortage and machines work unhampered.”
Total 490 food products were taken for testing of which 439 were found to be adulterated and percentage of adulteration has peaked up to staggering 89%.
Meanwhile, after after oil (100%), it is tea whose adulteration level is 94% followed by Mava (88%) and then Laddu, batisa, burfi and milk cake (89%).