MUMBAI: Tata Chemicals, which manufactures the Tata Salt brands, on Wednesday assured that its salt is "safe and harmless" for consumption.
The company said that India is among countries like US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand that have permitted the use of potassium ferrocyanide in salt.
The level permitted by regulator Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is lowest at 10 mg/kg, and the Codex Alimentarius - an authoritative guideline on food safety - has declared potassium ferrocyanide as safe for consumption at levels of 14 mg/kg, the company said.
The Tata Chemicals reaction came a day after Godhum Grains & Farm Products Chairman and consumer activist Shiv Shankar Gupta on Tuesday claimed that the potassium ferrocyanide levels are alarmingly high in reputed Indian salt brands, leading to a huge controversy.
Quoting the analysis report of the American West Analytical Laboratories, Gupta had cited examples of the government-manufactured Sambhar Salt with potassium ferrocyanide at 4.71 mg/kg, the privately-manufactured Tata Salt at 1.85 mg/kg and Tata Salt Lite 1.90 mg/kg.
However, Tata Chemicals dismissed the allegations as "totally false and misleading" and said that potassium ferrocyanide content in its brands is "well within permissible limits" and is "safe and harmless" to the human body when consumed as per approved levels.
It added that iodine is another essential micronutrient needed by the human body daily in small quantity, and is part of the government's efforts to address the issue of Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD).
"Since 1983, Tata Salt has partnered with the government in this (IDD) initiative and played a pivotal role in the battle against iodine deficiency. As per FSSAI, adequate salt iodisation has saved four billion IQ points in the past 25 years," the company said.
Tata Chemicals reiterated that Tata Salt is a reputed and responsible brand which follows rigorous quality control processes at all levels to ensure safe, healthy and high-quality products for the consumers.