Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) officials here have seized a large quantity of vanaspati ghee made by Cargill India Pvt. Ltd. and sold under the brand name ‘Gemini’, on charges that the product contains nickel in excess of permissible limits.

Sale of the product has also been banned.

It may be recalled that in February, the FDA’s Pune office had seized Gemini oil and vanaspati ghee worth over Rs. 2 crore from the company’s factory there. The present seizure in Nashik is valued at around Rs. 1 lakh.

Consumption of nickel is harmful to humans.

Samples of the seized product were sent to the Referral Food Laboratory in Ghaziabad, which reported that while the standard quantity of nickel in Vanaspati ghee should be 1.5 ppm, the samples showed 1.94 ppm, 2.24 ppm and 1.99 ppm of nickel.

Vanaspati ghee is a popular substitute for the more expensive product made from the milk of buffalos or cows, particularly during the festive season.


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