Cancerous agents found in bread. Samples of major brands tested positive
In one of the worst case scenarios, detrimental to public health, research studies in India have found the most alarming cause for concern regarding breads manufactured in India. CANCER!! Yes and before you pick up a loaf of multigrain, read this first. A study conducted by the Center For Science And Environment found the unthinkable. Cancerous agents found in bread included almost every variety of bread where 38 popular brands were tested for potassium bromate and potassium iodate, substances banned in other countries.
Moreover bread from popular outlets such as Nirula’s , KFC and McDonald’s were also found positive for such substances, however, most brand majors have openly denied the use of such items in statements to the CSE.
1 Carcinogenic Substances Found In Bread
As if the common man wasn’t burdened enough to be careful about the use of unhealthy practices of production in consumer items and now this! Bread containing carcinogenic substances is the latest and hardest blow to consumers where bread is a staple consumed almost daily in households across India.
The significant study was conducted by the pollution monitoring laboratory at the Center for Science And Environment. What researchers found was shocking because it is now out in the open that banned substances abroad such as potassium idoate and potassium bromate are widely used in bread production and by almost every brand you can think of. Pavs, buns, pizza bread, burger buns, multigrain and brown bread as well as your favorite sandwich bread.
2 84% of samples from Popular Brands Tested Positive
The study tested 38 popular bread brands as well as bread related items sold in popular fast food outlets across Delhi. 84% of the samples were found to contain the cancer causing substances where Harvest Gold and Britannia were found to be among varieties using the highest levels of the substances in question. Studies also found the finished product also containing residues of the harmful substances, said Chandra Bhusan, Deputy Director General of the CSE.
Among the fast food outlets from where samples were acquired were popular brands like KFC, Pizza hut, Subway, Dominos, McDonald’s, Nirula’s and Slice of Italy. However, all of these brands except Domino’s denied their products contained such substances. Britannia also stated it did not use these ingredients in its bread recipes. According to the Deputy Director, further testing of the samples were also carried out at third party laboratories which confirmed the existence of potassium bromate/iodate in almost all. Labels were checked thoroughly as well as discussions were held with industrialists and scientists to reach a conclusion.
3 Banned In Several Countries for Being Possibly Carcinogenic
Potassium bromate was classified in 1999 by the International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC) as a possible carcinogenic, unhealthy for human consumption. It caused number diseases such as Kidney tumors, thyroid dysfunction and cancer of the abdomen in animal studies. European Union had already banned the use of potassium bromated in 1990, so did most countries like UK, New Zealand, China, Brazil, Australia, Columbia, Peru and surprisingly even Nigeria and Sri Lanka which shows that even these developing countries adopt safer health measures.
In samples taken from Defense bakery in Delhi, which included whole wheat bread, brown bread, multigrain and jumbo slices brown bread, no residue was found. A similiar result was found in one sample of English oven (sandwich bread) and one sample of Nirula’s burger bread used in their chatpata potato burger. Cancerous agents found in bread samples inlcuded white bread pav buns, pizza bread and 19 out of 24 samples of packaged bread where all tested positive for the chemicals. The figures pertaining to the substance was found to be 1.15 to 22.54 ppm or parts per million.
4 What The Brand Majors Have To Say?
Britannia says its bread production adheres to all health and safety norms stipulated by the FSSAI which allows permissible and limited use of various food additives including potassium Bromate/iodate upto 50ppm. Any one reading this would obviously wonder why exactly is such a harmful chemical actually being allowed in the first place, so who is really to blame?
Domino’s mentioned it also abides by all Indian food regulations to maintain highest standards of food safety in its products. They also stated they do not use potassium bromate in flour supplies. KFC followed suit in stating that the company follows stringent quality testing and maintains strict standards of observing all rules laid down by the FSSAI to ensure that the food is totally safe for consumers as it is their number one priority.
5 What the Health Minister Has To Say?
Reacting to the study of cancerous agents found in bread , the Health Minister, J.P Narada stated that the Health Ministry is concerned over the matter and as of now there should be no immediate cause for panic. The matter is being treated on an urgent basis and a probe will be carried out whose report will be disclosed soon.
Who is to blame? Lax health regulations in tune with global standards and monitoring or blatant inconsideration of brand majors towards the health of the general public. Where does the buck stop? While answers to such questions may take a while to reach the public, the ultimate guinea pig is obviously the consumer.