Tamil Nadu bans Cotton Candy over Cancer scare

cotton candy banned in tamil nadu

The Tamil Nadu government has imposed a ban on the production and sale of cotton candy in the state after finding traces of a cancer-causing chemical in the samples tested by the food safety department. The chemical, Rhodamine-B, is a water-soluble dye that is toxic for human consumption and can cause oxidative stress on cells and tissues if ingested. The use of Rhodamine-B as a food additive is punishable under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.

The ban was announced by Tamil Nadu Health Minister Subramanian on Wednesday, February 17, 2024. The minister said that the food safety officials had collected samples of cotton candy from various places in the state and sent them for lab analysis. The results confirmed the presence of Rhodamine-B in the samples. The minister also urged the public to avoid consuming cotton candy until further notice and warned the vendors and manufacturers of strict action if they are found violating the ban. He said that the government is taking all necessary steps to ensure the safety and health of the people.

Cotton candy, also known as candy floss or fairy floss, is a popular snack made of spun sugar that is often sold at fairs, carnivals, and festivals. It is usually colored with artificial flavors and colors to make it more appealing to children. However, some unscrupulous vendors and manufacturers may use cheap and harmful chemicals like Rhodamine-B to give cotton candy a bright pink color. Rhodamine-B is not approved for food use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of India or any other country.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Rhodamine-B is classified as a Group 3 carcinogen, which means that there is not enough evidence to determine its carcinogenicity in humans, but there is sufficient evidence to show that it can cause cancer in animals. The exposure to Rhodamine-B can also cause other adverse effects such as skin irritation, eye damage, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, and dizziness. In severe cases, it can lead to kidney failure, liver damage, and death.

The cotton candy ban in Tamil Nadu has raised concerns over the quality and safety of other food items sold in the state. The food safety department has assured that it will conduct regular inspections and raids to check for any violations and adulteration of food products. The department has also appealed to the public to report any suspicious or substandard food items to the toll-free number 1800-425-1125 or the WhatsApp number 9444042322.

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