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Kolkata civic body orders testing of bread samples

Kolkata, May 25 (IANS) The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has ordered sampling and testing of bread products across the city after a study by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) reportedly found certain harmful chemicals in bread, buns, pavs, pizza bases and other commercially-sold bakery items, an official said on Wednesday.

“We held a meeting with our food safety officers on Tuesday and asked them to collect samples from various city pockets. These samples would be sent on Wednesday to the central government lab (Central Food Laboratory) in Kyd Street and one other lab at Barasat for testing,” Atin Ghosh, Mayor-In-Council member (health), told IANS.

The CSE on Monday released a report which said that Indian bread manufacturers use potassium bromate and potassium iodate for treating flour while making bread.

Potassium bromate is known to be a category 2B carcinogen and is already banned in Britain, the European Union, Australia, Canada and Sri Lanka, among other countries.

Following the report, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) said on Monday that it was already considering to take potassium bromate off the list of permitted additives following recommendation of a scientific panel.

The FSSAI said it was also examining the evidence against potassium iodate before taking any decision on disallowing its use.

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