CHENNAI: The Consumer Association Of India has called into question the authenticity of edible oils in the Tamil Nadu market. According to CAI, many of the edible oils sold had misleading labels and cheated consumers.
The action group based its claims on a survey and a random check in six districts across Tamil Nadu, picking up 14 samples with groundnuts pictured on the packets implying that they contained groundnut oil. When analysed in a laboratory, however, most of the samples were found not to contain groundnut oil, said CAI.
"The declaration on the front panel had a variety of assertions. 14% of samples were declared as Blended Cooking Oil, another 14% were declared as Blended Edible Vegetable Oil, 36% as Ground Nut Oil, 29% as Cooking Oil and 7% as Edible Vegetable Oil," said G Santhanarajan, Director, Food Safety, Consumers Association of India.
The claims on the reverse side of the packet were also misleading, says CAI. All samples claimed to contain from 10% to 100% of groundnut oil. The tests however, brought the lie to the claims. 4 Samples were found to contain 100 % Palmolien Oil and no groundnut oil. One contained 100% Cotton Seed Oil and one contained 90% Palmolein Oil and only 10% ground nut oil. One suprise check on a sunflower oil sample also was found to contain 50% cotton seed oil and 50% palmolien oil.
The tests also found other discrepancies. As per Food Safety Standards Rules 2011 and Regulations 2011, all food packets are mandated to carry FSSAI Logo and Licence Number. But only 21% of the samples had FSSAI Logo and only 36% carried FSSAI Licence Number. 42% of the packets also did not carry the “Agmark Logo” which is a mandatory requirement.
All these were ways that unscrupulous elements were cheating consumers who bought groundnut oil for the taste, flavour and quality, said the CAI spokesperson.