Tamil Nadu bans cotton candy as it contains cancer-causing chemicals

Cancer-causing chemicals including textile dye and Rhodamine-B were identified as compounds used in the making of cotton candy.
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Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian announced the ban of cotton candy in the state on Saturday, February 17, after samples of the coloured confectionery were tested and declared ‘unsafe’ for consumption as they contained cancer-causing chemicals. The ban comes almost a week after Puducherry Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan enforced a similar curb on the manufacturing and distribution of the confectionery in the Union Territory. 

Samples of coloured cotton candy were recently reviewed by the Government Food Analysis Laboratory located in Chennai, which revealed the usage of a textile dye and Rhodamine-B, a chemical compound used for enhancing colour. It was therefore declared ‘unsafe’ for consumption under the Food Safety and Standards Act (2006).

A press release from the Health Minister’s office read, “As per the act, packaging, importing, selling, and serving food articles with Rhodamine-B in marriage ceremonies and public functions is a punishable offence.” Food Safety officers in the state have also been directed to review the enforcement of the ban and take strict action against non-compliance.

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