CERC survey finds Organic Turmeric with heavy metals

A study conducted by Consumer Education & Research Centre (CERC) Ahmedabad found that three popular brands of organic haldi had higher than permissible levels of copper and four of the six brands tested were found to have Arsenic.

Long-term exposure to arsenic from food can cause cancer, skin lesions, , cardiovascular disease, neurotoxicity and diabetes.

While the permissible level of copper as specified by the BIS is 5.0mg/kg, Fab India’s organic turmeric had 7.20mg/kg of copper, the highest among the six brands tested, followed by Sattvic at 5.71 mg/kg and 24 Mantra at 5.47 mg/kg, said CERC’s report.

The standard limit is 0.1 mg/kg, Arsenic levels were found to be beyond the safe limit in four brands. One of the brands, Asal had the highest level of 0.52 mg/kg. Sattvic had 0.44 mg/kg, 24 Mantra 0.25 mg/kg and Fabindia 0.18 mg/kg.

According to CERC’s report, all brands gave incomplete labelling information and none had the Ecomark certification.

CERC also appealed to the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) to set specific mandatory standards for organic food, which was forwarded to the FSSAI. CERC claims that in response to their appeal, FSSAI mentioned that BIS has constituted a committee to formulate standards for organic foods. Once the standards are finalised, necessary action would be taken by FSSAI for their adoption under the Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins & Residues) Regulations, 2011.

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