Tamil Nadu: After Puducherry, cotton candy banned in whole state

Minister Subramanian stated that the analysis conducted at the Government Food Analysis Laboratory identified the presence of Rhodamine-B, an industrial dye, in the cotton candy samples.

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The sale of cotton candy has been banned in Tamil Nadu after tests conducted on samples obtained from stalls in Chennai revealed the presence of cancer-causing chemicals, according to Health Minister Ma Subramanian.

In a press release issued on Saturday, February 17, 2024, Minister Subramanian stated that the analysis conducted at the Government Food Analysis Laboratory identified the presence of Rhodamine-B, an industrial dye, in the cotton candy samples. This chemical was being used as an artificial coloring agent, rendering the candy substandard and unsafe under the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006.

Earlier this month, the State’s Food Safety department had carried out raids to assess the quality of cotton candy being sold in the city. Subramanian emphasized that the use of Rhodamine-B as a food additive in manufacturing, packaging, import, sale, or serving food at events was a punishable offense under the Act.

P Satheesh Kumar, designated officer of the Food Safety Department in Chennai, explained that Rhodamine-B was primarily utilized in industries such as leather coloring and paper printing. However, its usage as a food coloring agent posed significant health risks. Immediate effects of consumption could include stomach discomfort, itching, and respiratory issues.

Long-term ingestion could lead to the accumulation of the dye in vital organs like the kidneys, liver, and intestines, potentially causing irreversible damage and increasing the risk of cancer.

In response to these findings, the Commissioner of Food Safety has instructed enforcement officers to take stringent action in accordance with the law. This ban serves to protect public health and safety by preventing the sale and consumption of contaminated cotton candy tainted with harmful chemicals.

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