A US lab report revealed that premium brands of processed iodised salt sold in India allegedly contain alarming levels of carcinogenic and harmful components like potassium ferrocyanide, an activist said in Mumbai on Tuesday.
According to Shiv Shankar Gupta, Chairman of Godhum Grains & Farms Products, the test by American West Analytical Laboratories has revealed that potassium ferrocyanide levels are an alarmingly high in Sambhar Refined Salt at 4.71 mg/kg, at 1.85 mg/kg in Tata Salt and 1.90 mg/kg in Tata Salt Lite. Tata Salt in an official statement however claimed that the "recent allegations made against the purity and health benefits of Tata Salt are totally false and misleading and being made by vested interests."
On Tuesday, news agency IANS quoted 91-year-old Gupta saying, "nowhere in the world is potassium ferrocyanide - a deadly poison - is permitted for use in the edible salt industry or for that matter in any other food items."
Tata Salt countered the statement saying, "India is one among many countries including the United States of America, European Union, Australia and New Zealand that have allowed the use of PFC in salt."
"The level allowed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), an independent statutory authority, under Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India is the lowest among these jurisdictions (10 mg per kg). Codex Alimentarius, the most authoritative guidelines on food safety has declared PFC safe for consumption at levels of 14 mg per kg. The use of PFC is allowed in salt and is safe and harmless to the human body when consumed as per approved levels. This is clearly declared in the list of Tata Salt ingredients in a manner prescribed by the regulations," the statement read.
(Update: The original IANS story has been updated by IndiaTvNews.com to accomodate official response from Tata Salts. The IANS story was first published with the headline: "Top Indian salt brands contain deadly cyanide: US lab report".)