Ludhiana: The controversy over the use of cancer causing chemical `Potassium Bromate’ in the breads is still running high on the minds of city people. There are people who have stopped using the breads. What to speak of bead, even there are people who have stopped eating bakery products also after hearing about bread issue. Raghav Sharma, the owner of bakery, Chander Nagar said, “The sale has drastically gone down in the past few days since the controversy of the bread is in limelight. Now people prefer to buy other things but we are at great loss over it as, maximum items of the bakery are made from the bread products only.”
The Drug Inspector of the District Health department, Ludhiana, Sukhdeep Singh said, “We have received the directions from the higher authorities to take the samples of breads on regular intervals. We have taken the samples of branded and non branded breads from different areas of the city and sent them in laboratory for the test. The result of the samples will come within few days from Chandigarh, and its report will be sent to the centre authorities. Box-1 In the month of May, the government was set to ban the Potassium Bromate as food addictive.
Health Minister, JP Nadda, asserted that it will take appropriate action following a report which claimed presence of cancer causing chemicals in bread samples of virtually all top brands. As a centre for the Science and Environment (CSE) study had found nearly 84 per cent of 38 commonly available brands of pre-packaged breads including pav and buns, testing positive for Potassium Bromate and Potassium Iodate, banned in many countries as they were listed as dangerous for the health of individuals. It claimed that while one of the chemicals was a category 2B carcinogen (possibly carcinogenic to humans), other could trigger thyroid disorders.
All India Bread Manufacturers’ Association (AIBMA), a body of 350 professional bread makers, including Britannia, Modern, Bonn and Elite Group claimed that they would stop using the Potassium Bromate from our products because it is a non-essential ingredient that only improves the look of bread. This doesn’t mean we are guilty of using an unsafe product as they were using Potassium Bromate as per the directions of the Food Safety and Standard Authorities of India. Nadda then directed that the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to take the matter seriously and submit a report at earliest.
On the orders of Health Minister, health department of every state has gone vigilant over the issue of the bread. They are taking samples of bread from different areas on daily basis to check its quality and the use of Potassium Bromate in breads by sending them to the laboratory in Chandigarh as health department official laboratory is located there. BOX-2 Managing Director Kitty bread and President of All India Bread Manufacturing Association, Ramesh Mago said, “We totally stopped using harmful chemicals in bread, despite the fact earlier also we use to use them as per FSSAI directions.
We have recovered losses but still around 6-7 percent people don’t use it. Since the controversy broke, it is causing confusion among consumers. So our bread and bakery products sales declined. Now we have decided to voluntarily withdraw its use. Today we have almost covered our losses. Only 5 to 7 percent sales are still affected. We will also work with small bakers so that they can have access and knowledge about using alternatives to Potassium Bromate. Earlier Food safety and Standard authority of India’s regulations permit the use of Potassium Bromate and Potassium Iodate at 50ppm maximum for the bread and at 20ppm maximum for the bakery purpose.
But now we totally stop using it in our products. BOX-3 RESIDENTS’ SPEAK Siddak Singh, a Youngster, “It is very disappointing that one after the other breaking controversies over the use to health harming chemicals were found in the eating products. It means till the media or some authorities do not pay full attention over checking the chemicals used in product. We are not safe to eat anything in this country. Earlier Maggi and now bread, God knows which chemicals are used in others products”. Jaswinder Singh, a resident said, “I was very upset when I heard the news regarding the presence of chemicals like Potassium Bromate and Potassium Iodate in the bread and allied bakery products of the leading food manufacturers as it would cause serious health problems among humans.” Sanjeev Chaudhary, a resident, “When we came to know about the chemicals used in the bread we were shocked about it.
Now we avoid bringing bread for our family, though we were daily users of the bakery products. In fact, we stopped eating other bakery products which are made of bread due to the health risk factor.” Suman Grover, a shopkeeper said, “Our bread sales have drastically gone down since, the controversy of bread has been started in the media. Even our regular customers have stopped buying breads due to which we are facing big losses as it was their routine business. We wish the problem regarding bread should be cleared soon by the authorities concerned” Cemay Madhok, a youngster said, “I usually use to eat bread in the breakfast.
But now I have stopped eating bread at all and even strictly ordered my family not to eat bread. As I am very health conscious and also told my family just to eat healthy things only. If news to be believed the chemical used in bread that is Potassium Bromate can cause cancer so it’s better not to eat it.”
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