Potassium bromate was in the news recently, after the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) flagged it as a possible carcinogen, among other things. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has now banned its use, but there are over 3000 other potentially harmful food additives still in use in India, though they have been banned in other countries.

These suspect additives are found in packaged foods and other items that have become almost ubiquitous in modern life.
Artificial dyes are freely used in breakfast cereals, cakes and confectioneries and in sports drinks. They can cause various types of cancer and cell damage, apart from adversely affecting the attention capacity and other developmental parameters of children.

Many brands of cereals, baked goods, cosmetics, packaged snacks, meats, butter, chewing gum and even beer contain preservatives called BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) which are banned in countries like UK and Japan. Unmetered use of these could lead to cancers.

Arsenic, found as a natural component of the earth’s crust, is highly toxic in its inorganic form, and rice has been seen to have a high content of this form of the chemical. Side effects include cardiovascular disease, neurotoxicity, skin problems, diabetes and cancer.

Olestra, a fat substitute banned in UK and Canada, is used in fast foods available in India, particularly in chips and French fries. It hampers the body’s ability to absorb essential vitamins, and so could have a detrimental effect on health.

Packet soup mixes, chewing gum, baked goods and edible oils, as well as cosmetics could also contain propyl gallate, an additive that could be an endocrine disrupter and carcinogenic as well.

Source: http://zeenews.india.com

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