Are you still buying loose oil for your daily needs?
Research by the Consumer Voice, one of the leading Consumer organisations in India confirmed adulteration in upto85% of loose edible oil sold across 15 states in India. The study further revealed that the adulteration was found in 8 major varieties namely Mustard, Sesame, Coconut, Sunflower, PalmOlein, Soyabean, Groundnut and Cottonseed.
The study highlighted that in the samples tested, Coconut Oil was the most adulterated with 85% adulteration. Results of tests done on cottonseed oil, sesame oil, mustard oil were no better with 74.07%, 74% and 71.77% adulteration found respectively.
Commenting on the findings Dr.AparnaSanthanam, Dermatologist and Cosmetologist said- “Buyers need to be cautious about the products they use on their skin and hair. With skin being one of the most sensitive organs, even slight adulteration may cause irritation and/or dermatitis, which at the time may not seem big but can have harsh effects in the long run. For the hair, scalp inflammation and hair loss on long term usage are some of the commonly seen side effects of using adulterated oil”
Not only do adulterated oils cause allergies and increase cholesterol, but they are also known to be a cause of deadly diseases such as cancer, paralysis, liver damage and cardiac arrest.Even the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales Regulations 2011), has banned the selling, buying and distribution of edible oil in the loose form, yet in the country it is bring bought and sold.
A Dr. Niti Desai, a Dietician and Nutritionist added“While I see a lot of patients, the majority of them have lifestyle diseases – nutrition or food habits being the root cause. We need to be particularly careful and vigilant about the quality of food that we are eating. When it comes to using cooking oil, our food regulatory authorities have banned use of oil from loose packets. We must make sure that we don’t use these packets / pouches as the oil is contaminated and will lead to formation of toxins in the body called free radicals, which are implicated in most of the lifestyle and chronic diseases.”
The laboratory tests were conducted by Consumer Voice, a Voluntary Consumer Organization which works in the interest of consumer education and advocating consumer rights, and done at National Accreditation Board of Testing and Calibration Laboratories. With the sample size of 1,015, the loose edible oils for the researchwas taken from 15 prime Indian states including Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala to name a few. The oils were tested on the grounds of both quality and safety parameters, standards established by FSSAI.
Commenting on the research Mr. AshimSanyal, Chief Operating Officer of the Consumer Voice, said, “The tests were conducted as an initiative to educate the consumers and make them conscious of the adulteration present in the loose oil currently available in the market. Even though the results may come as a shock to a lot of consumers, we think that the jolt was necessary to make them more aware as citizens. We hope that our tests were eye-opening and will help the buyers make well-informed choices. As for the government, it is our sincere appeal to take immediate contingency measures to stop the sales of loose edible oil, and punish the offenders.”
With the practice of adulteration picking up pace and posing threats to the health and wellbeing of the citizens, it’s important for the health authorities to now take stricter action to stop the sale of loose edible oil. But more importantly, it is important for everyone to realize that adulteration is a major health issue and start buying edible oil which is approved by FSSAI.