The sale, storage, distribution and manufacture of 74 brands of coconut oil have been banned in Kerala by the food safety department. The crackdown comes after a notice from food safety commissioner Anand Singh, as tests showed that the banned brands showed signs of adulteration, were of sub-par quality and had violated provision of the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006. The investigation and subsequent ban were put into place after an investigation by Manorama News.
Food safety officials have said the brands will face strict action for having manufactured and sold adulterated coconut oil. The New Indian Express reports that Health Minister KK Shylaja had instructed the food safety department to step up its activities in the prevention of sale of adulterated food items being sold in Kerala.
Nearly half of the banned brands of coconut oil bear the suffix â€śKeraâ€ť, in order to trick consumers into believing that they are part of or linked wit the government-owned enterprise, KeraFed. Some of the newly banned brands include StS Kera Premium Gold (Jithu Oil Mills), Kera Proudy (Bej Traders), K S Kerasugandhi (Indian Agencies), Kera Hira (Bej Traders), Nalikera (St Maryâ€™s Oil Traders), Kitchen Tasty (Kairaly Oil Mills), Kera Swadisht (Liya Trading Company), and Kera Sulabha (Pulary Coconut Oil). Most brands adulterated their coconut oil with oils of poorer quality, such as palm oil.
This is not the first time coconut oil brands have been banned in Kerala. Back on May 31, the food safety department banned the sale of 45 brands of coconut oil due to adulteration and poor quality, whileon June 30, 51 additional coconut oil brands were banned for the same reason. With the ban on these additional 74 brands, a total of 166 brands of coconut oil have been banned in Kerala this year.