KOCHI: Research by Consumer Voice, one of the leading consumer organisations in India, has confirmed adulteration up to 85 per cent in loose edible oil sold across 15 states in India. The study further revealed that the adulteration was found in eight major varieties namely mustard, sesame, coconut, sunflower, palmolein, soybean, groundnut and cottonseed oil.
The study highlighted that in the samples tested coconut oil was the most adulterated with 85 per cent adulteration. Results of tests done on cottonseed oil, sesame oil, mustard oil were no better with 74.07 per cent, 74 per cent and 71.77 per cent adulteration found respectively, a press release said quoting the study.
The laboratory tests were conducted by Consumer Voice, a voluntary consumer organization which works in the interest of consumer education and advocating consumer rights, at National Accreditation Board of Testing and Calibration Laboratories. With the sample size of 1,015, the loose edible oils for the research was 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.
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 being bought and sold.
Commenting on the research Ashim Sanyal, 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. 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.”