The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) department seized over 9,000 kg of lollipops and candies adulterated with non-edible items like talcum powder from a factory in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
The shocking incident came to light when an FDA team raided the confectionery in the Palda area of the city and impounded the sweet items comprising 5,600 kg of candy and 4,200 kg of lollipop.
According to reports, KS Industries located in Udyog Nagar was raided by the team which detected several aberrations at the plant. It found that the candies were being manufactured in unhygienic conditions, and adulterated with talcum powder and other non-edible items.
The FDA team also discovered that the labelling rules were clearly violated, among other transgressions, at the manufacturing unit.
Speaking on the matter, Indore Addition Collector Abhay Bedekar said that a white powder-like substance was found in a sack during the raid.
Upon examination, he added, it was discovered that it was talcum powder which was being added to the candies and lollipops. Following the raid, a case was registered against the owners of the plant - Krishnapati Anil Agarwal and Simranpati Vijay Sabnani- under the Food Safety Act.
Earlier in December 2020, honey samples from leading brands such as Dabur, Patanjali, Baidyanath, Zandu, Hitkari and Apis Himalaya, all failed Centre for Science and Environment's NMR test.
Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) food researchers selected 13 top and smaller brands of processed and raw honey being sold in India to check their purity.
They found 77 per cent of the samples adulterated with the addition of sugar syrup. Out of the 22 samples checked, only five passed all the tests.
The CSE also claimed that it tracked down Chinese trade portals which were advertising fructose syrup that can bypass tests to check adulteration. It also found that the same Chinese companies that advertised this fructose syrup that can beat C3 and C4 tests also exported to India.
Meanwhile, refusing the allegation, Dabur issued a statement saying that it is the only company in India to have NMR testing equipment in its own laboratory, which is used to regularly test Dabur's honey being sold in the Indian market.
The statement also had NMR test reports from Germany-based Bruker BioSpin GmbH dated July 16, 2020, stating that Dabur Honey had passed the NMR Test.
Emami Spokesperson also clarified that it's Zandu Pure Honey conforms and adheres to all the protocols and quality norms/standards laid down by the government and its authorised entities such as FSSAI. However, the company did not comment on the NMR test, which is the global standard.
Saffola too got embroiled in the whole honey adulteration fiasco after some social media posts claimed that the brand, which passed the stringent NMR test, sources its honey from Apis, that failed the same purity test.
However, the claims were soon put to rest when some netizens countered them with packaging details available online that showed that Saffola Honey was manufactured and packed by Kejriwal Bee Care India.
Saffola, too on its part, assured that every batch of its honey is independently tested for purity, irrespective of where it is packaged.
"Saffola guarantees 100 per cent purity of its honey irrespective of the packaging location. Every batch of Saffola Honey is tested using NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) technology, which is one of the most advanced tests in the world, in the best-in-class international laboratories to ensure that it is 100 per cent pure, free from added sugars and free from any form of adulteration," a Saffola spokesperson told BusinessToday.In