These 9 Foods Are Banned In India By FSSAI; Find Out Why

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is the governing body responsible for regulating and supervising food safety in India. Ensuring that the food consumed by the public is safe and free from harmful substances, the FSSAI occasionally imposes bans on certain food items. These bans are typically based on scientific research, health considerations, environmental impacts, and ethical concerns. The FSSAI's decisions are critical in safeguarding public health and promoting ethical food production practices. Over the years, the FSSAI has banned several food items that posed significant risks or raised ethical issues. Here are the reasons behind the ban of nine such foods in India, highlighting the specific health, environmental, and ethical concerns associated with each.

Chinese Milk and Milk Products 

In 2008, the FSSAI banned Chinese milk and milk products due to melamine contamination. The infamous melamine milk scandal revealed that melamine, a toxic chemical, was added to milk to falsely increase protein content. This contamination posed severe health risks, including kidney damage and failure, particularly affecting infants and children. The ban was a crucial step in protecting consumers from the hazardous effects of adulterated milk products. 

Genetically Modified Foods (GM Foods) 

Genetically modified (GM) foods have been a subject of controversy globally. In India, the FSSAI banned GM foods due to concerns over their potential impact on the environment, biodiversity, and human health. While limited cultivation is permitted under strict approval processes, the broader ban reflects the need for extensive research and regulation to ensure that GM foods do not harm ecosystems or human health. 

Potassium Bromate 

Potassium bromate, a chemical used as a bread enhancer, was banned in 2016 by the FSSAI. Studies linked potassium bromate to carcinogenic properties, particularly associated with thyroid and kidney cancers. The decision to ban this additive aimed to eliminate the risk of cancer linked to its consumption, promoting safer alternatives in bread production. 

Chinese Garlic 

Chinese garlic was banned in 2019 due to the presence of high levels of pesticide residues, posing serious health risks. The pesticides found in Chinese garlic were linked to various health problems, including cancer and neurological issues. The ban ensured that consumers were protected from the adverse effects of pesticide-laden garlic. 

Artificial Fruit Ripeners 

The use of artificial ripening agents, such as calcium carbide, has been banned due to their carcinogenic properties. These agents were commonly used to speed up the ripening process of fruits, posing significant health risks to consumers. The FSSAI's ban was essential to prevent the adverse effects of consuming fruits ripened with harmful chemicals, encouraging the use of safer, natural ripening methods. 

Foie Gras (Duck/Goose Liver) 

In 2014, India banned foie gras, a delicacy made from the liver of ducks or geese. The ban was driven by ethical concerns over the forced feeding practices used to produce foie gras, which cause immense suffering to the animals. This move reflected India's commitment to animal welfare and ethical food production standards. 

Sassafras Oil 

Sassafras oil, known for its high erucic acid concentration, was banned in 2003 due to its potential to cause heart disease and other health issues. The FSSAI's decision aimed to eliminate the consumption of products containing sassafras oil, thereby protecting public health from the harmful effects of erucic acid. 

Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO) 

Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) was banned because bromine, present in BVO, is linked to thyroid problems and neurological symptoms. The FSSAI's decision to outlaw BVO aimed to prevent these health issues, promoting the use of safer alternatives in food products. 

Rabbit Meat 

The consumption of rabbit meat was banned in India due to religious sensitivities and animal welfare concerns. This ban also promoted more humane food production methods, reflecting a commitment to ethical treatment of animals and respect for cultural and religious beliefs.