Indian FDA Warns About the Dangers of Adulterated Edible Oils

Thursday, June 27, 2019

The Tamil Nadu Food Safety and Drug Administration Department has warned the Indian public about the continued dangers of adulterated edible oil despite a recent labeling change made by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).  The state government food safety agency conducted a raid on a local oil mill this year, and issued the warning after it discovered that higher-priced oils from sesame and groundnut were being adulterated with palm oil.  The adulterated oils could contain up to 70% palm oil content, to which an unidentified essence would be added so as to give the desired flavour or aroma. 

In addition, the agency added that multiple loopholes were available in current legislation, which oil traders were making full use of.  Examples included printing small-font printing mentioning palm oil on the label, as well as avoiding mention of the oil blend ratios.  This comes on the heels of FSSAI having announced a change to edible oil labeling back in December last year, specifying that every package containing oil blends needs to display a label stating ‘Blended Edible Vegetable Oil’ on the pack, as well as the name and nature of the oils.   The regulation is set to be enforced come July 1 this year.  A transition period of some six months was given to oil companies since the change was first officially announced. 

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