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ANALYSIS

About 84.5% of food samples collected on Char Dham routes adulterated
Tuesday, 07 August, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
Of the 1,186 food samples collected over the last three months by the Society of Pollution and Environmental Conservation Scientists (SPECS), Dehradun, Uttarakhand, from 47 places along the Char Dham Yatra routes of Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, 1,003 samples (or a whopping 84.5 per cent) were found to be adulterated.

Eighty-four per cent of the adulteration in foodstuff took place on the Badrinath-Kedarnath route, while 84.5 per cent adulteration in foodstuff took place on the Gangotri-Yamnotri Route. Eighty-one per cent of the iodised salt samples contained no iodine.

The prasad (offerings to gods in the temples) is also of a poor quality. Ilaichi dana was found to contain chemicals. The coconut was found to be stale and of a poor quality, as were chhuara, cashew and kishmish in Kedarnath. The pure ghee offered to Kedarnath Ji was also found to be adulterated.

Chilli sauce, tomato sauce and vinegar used for chow mein and other Chinese meals were found to be 100 per cent adulterated.

Sindoor, or roli, was found to contain 100 per cent toxic chemicals. It can cause local irritation and skin toxicity. The nature of sindoor, or kumkum, can change with exposure to the environment over time, and this can result in blisters, itching, rashes, pigmentation and, at times, serious dermatological disorders.

The samples were collected with the help of trained volunteers. The campaign was supported by Lok Sanchar Vikas Samiti. This was stated in a report by Brij Mohan Sharma, secretary, SPECS.

“Uttarakhand is known for its simple pure unadulterated food, but what we are getting from outside is adulterated processed food,” he said.

Sharma added, “Products from branded companies which reach the mountains is of a poor quality as compared to those available in Dehradun. Calcium is absent in milk and milk products. Mustard oil is adulterated.”

Adulteration percentages in previous years on Char Dham routes

Year

Kedarnath-Badrinath

Gangotri-Yamnotri

2018

84%

84.5%

2017

85%

83%

2016

85%

78%

2015

85%

80%

2014

84%

78%

2013

87%

79%

2012

84%

78%

2011

88%

76%

2010

78%

87%

2009

75%

91%

2008

75%

89%

2007

72%

84%

2006

71%

81%

2005

71%

81%


Adulteration percentages from Dehradun to Badrinath and Kedarnath (2018)

One hundred per cent

Between 90 and 99%

Between 80 and 89%

Between 70 and 79%

Between 60 and 69%

Kaudiyala 100%

Kedarnath 94%

Gopeshwar 91%

Badrinath 90%

Srikot 88%

Rishikesh 87%

Joshimath 88%

Papal Koti 88%

Agustmuni 86%

Rudrprayag 85%

Mana 85%

Dehradun 85%

Karanprayag 82%

Guptakashi 82%

Tilwada 81%

Doiwala 81%

Srinagar 80%

Ukhimath 78%

Devprayag 77%

Chamoli 76%

Govindghat 75%

Chopta 75%

Gaucher 73%

Nandprayag 72%

Bayasi 66%

Bhaniawala 60%


Percentage of adulteration in each food item from Dehradun to Badrinath and Kedarnath

Mustard oil 100%

Coriander 92%

Turmeric 89%

Red chilli 88%

Refined oil 87%

Clove 76%

Milk 75%

Sweets 76%

Paneer 76%

Pure ghee 76%

Black pepper 62%

Tea 92%


Percentage of adulteration from Narender Nagar to Gangotri

Gangori 100%

Bhatwari 100%

Gangnani 100%

Harshil 94%

Narender Nagar 93%

Gangotri 90%

Agrakhal 87%

Tehri 86%

Uttarkashi 85%

Dunda 80%

Chamba 75%

Dharashu 73%


Rajpur to Yamnotri

Badkot 88%

Bernigad 88%

Naugaon 86%

Mussorie 83%

Hanuman Chatti 83%

Yamnotri 81%

Nainbagh 80%

Rajpur 80%

Kempty 76%


Percentage of adulteration in food items from Narender Nagar to Gangotri and Yamnotri

Mustard oil 100%

Turmeric 94%

Red chilly powder 94%

Coriander 93%

Clove 87%

Black pepper 82%

Refined oil 76%

Milk 75%

Paneer 75%

Pure ghee 73%

Sweets 68%


Massive adulteration in food at Kanwad Mela at Haridwar

SPECS collected 100 samples of food items. Of these, 87 samples were found to be adulterated. Out of 15 samples of milk, eight samples were positive on urea test.

The following were the percentages of adulteration in the collected samples:

Milk 83%

Sweets 73%

Turmeric 87%

Red chilli powder 88%

Coriander powder 91%

Mustard oil 100%

Refined oil 72%


“We claim tourism to be the economic backbone of our fledgling, state and yet, as the results of the testing clearly prove, there are serious doubts and lacunae in our tourism aspirations and approach,” Sharma said.

“In the state’s tourism policy and practice, one of its more important pillars - food or boarding - stands largely ignored. Never mind the beautiful mountain landscape and the spiritual experience, at the physical level, what we are offering to the pilgrims and tourists is sheer third-class food and boarding, with a big question mark on its quality,” he added.

The following are the possible diseases due to adulterants: Joint ache; diarrhoea; stomach disorders; liver problem; ulcer; vomiting; cancer; dropsy; gastrointestinal problems; swelling; glaucoma; respiratory diseases; dysentery; paralysis, neuro-toxic problems, allergy and hair loss.

What is adulteration?
Under the erstwhile Prevention of Food Adulterants Act, 1954, any article of food is adulterated if:
  • Any inferior or cheaper substance has been substituted wholly or in part;
  • Any constituent of the article has been wholly or in part abstracted;
  • The article has been prepared, packed or kept under insanitary conditions;
  • The article consists in part filthy, rotten, decomposed or diseased animal or vegetable or is infested with insects;
  • The article is obtained from diseased animal;
  • The article contains any poisonous ingredient;
  • The article has an prescribed coloring substance or the coloring substance is in excess of the prescribed limits;
  • The article contains any prohibited or excessive preservatives, or
  • The quality or purity of the article falls below the prescribed standards
Table 1: Adulterants found in food products available in markets on Char Dham routes

Food item

Adulterated material/deficiency

Turmeric

Metanil yellow, lead chromate and starch

Red chilli

Rhodamin–B, Sudan and Garu

Coriander

Mud/soil and some suspected material

Black pepper

Natural oil already extracted

Clove

Natural oil already extracted

Garam masala

Mud/soil and dung

Milk

Castor oil, sodium carbonate and dry milk

Paneer

ry Dry milk and vegetable oil

Sweets

Metanil yellow in laddoo, melachite green, dry milk and Dalda

Desi ghee

Dalda ghee

Mustard oil

Mobile oil, castor oil and metanil yellow

Refined oil

Mobile oil and Metanil yellow

Tea

Dyed tea leaves and chromium dye

Coffee

Tamarind seeds

Prasad sugar

Rani and Tinopal (products for washing clothes)

Honey

Sugar

Roli

Dye metallic

Chhuara

Old and waste

Groundnut

Old

Tomato

Rhodamin–B

Green chilli

Malachite green

Vinegar

Acetic acid


Year: 2018
Table 1: Dehradun to Badrinath and Kedarnath

Place

Percentage of adulteration

Total samples

Adulterated samples

Dehradun

85

105

90

Doiwala

81

32

26

Bhaniawala

60

10

6

Rishikesh

87

65

57

Bayasi

66

6

4

Kaudiyala

100

7

7

Devprayag

77

22

17

Srinagar

80

41

33

Srikot

88

18

16

Rudrprayag

85

28

24

Tilwada

81

16

13

Gaucher

73

19

14

Karanprayag

82

34

28

Nandprayag

72

11

8

Chamoli

76

17

13

Papalkoti

88

17

15

Joshimath

88

26

23

Govindghat

75

8

6

Badrinath

90

22

20

Mana

85

7

6

Agustmuni

86

15

13

Guptakashi

82

17

14

Ukhimath

78

14

11

Chopta

75

8

6

Gopeshwar

91

34

31

Kedarnath

94

17

16

Total

83.92

616

517


Table 2: Percentage of adulteration in each food item (Dehradun to Badrinath and Kedarnath)

Food item

Samples

Adulterated samples

Percentage of adulteration

Turmeric

78

70

89

Red chilli powder

76

67

88

Coriander

75

69

92

Clove

52

40

76

Black pepper

50

31

62

Milk

49

39

75

Paneer

38

29

76

Sweets

38

29

76

Pure ghee

46

35

76

Mustard oil

74

74

100

Refined oil

40

35

87

Total

616

517

83.92



Table 3: Percentage of adulteration from Narender Nagar to Gangotri

Place

Total samples

Adulterated samples

Percentage of adulteration

Narender Nagar

32

30

93

Agrakhal

19

15

78

Chamba

32

24

75

Tehri

52

45

86

Dharashu

15

11

73

Dunda

10

8

80

Uttarkashi

48

41

85

Gangori

10

10

100

Bhatwari

7

7

100

Gangnani

6

6

100

Harshil

17

16

94

Gangotri

22

20

90

Total

270

233

86



Table 4: Percentage of adulteration in each food from Narender Nagar to Gangotri

Food item

Total samples

Adulterated samples

Percentage of adulteration

Turmeric

35

33

94

Red chilli powder

35

33

94

Coriander

32

30

93

Clove

24

21

87

Black pepper

23

19

82

Milk

28

21

75

Paneer

8

6

75

Sweets

16

11

68

Pure ghee

19

14

73

Mustard oil

25

25

100

Refined oil

25

19

76

Total

270

232

85


Table 5: Rajpur to Yamnotri

Sampling sites

Total samples

Adulterated samples

Percentage of adulteration

Rajpur

36

29

80

Mussoorie

42

35

83

Kempty

17

13

76

Nainbagh

15

12

80

Bernigad

9

8

88

Naugaon

22

19

86

Badkot

25

22

88

Hanuman Chatti

12

10

83

Yamnotri

22

18

81

Total

200

166

83

 
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