Cotton Candy Cancer Scare Sweeps Indian States; Bans Implemented Amid Health Concerns – South Asia Time

Cotton Candy Cancer Scare Sweeps Indian States; Bans Implemented Amid Health Concerns

 February 22, 2024  

New Delhi — In a bid to protect public health, several Indian states have moved to ban the sale of cotton candy, a beloved sugary treat, amidst growing concerns over its potential cancer-causing properties. The bans come following alarming findings of the presence of Rhodamine-B, a known carcinogen, in samples tested from various regions.

Last week, the southern state of Tamil Nadu took decisive action by implementing a ban on cotton candy after lab tests confirmed the presence of Rhodamine-B in samples obtained from vendors. The ban came after P Satheesh Kumar, a food safety officer in Chennai, raised concerns about the candy’s safety, citing its potential to cause cancer and harm various organs within the body.

Tamil Nadu’s Health Minister, Ma Subramanian, underscored the seriousness of the issue, stating that any use of Rhodamine-B in food-related activities would be punishable under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. The move was prompted by the detection of the chemical, commonly used in textiles, cosmetics, and inks, which imparts the candy its signature fluorescent pink hue.

The concern over cotton candy’s safety has rippled across other regions as well. Earlier this month, the union territory of Puducherry joined Tamil Nadu in banning the sweet treat. Meanwhile, neighboring states like Andhra Pradesh have initiated testing of cotton candy samples to assess the presence of the carcinogen.

The issue has gained momentum, with officials in Delhi reportedly considering a ban on cotton candy following Tamil Nadu’s lead. The move highlights the growing apprehension regarding the safety of this popular confectionery item, particularly among children who are frequent consumers at amusement parks, fairs, and other entertainment venues.

Cotton candy, also known as buddi-ka-baal in India due to its wispy appearance, has long been cherished for its melt-in-the-mouth texture. However, the recent revelations regarding its potential health risks have sparked a nationwide debate on the regulation of food additives and the need for stringent safety measures in the food industry.

As authorities across India grapple with this health concern, the future of cotton candy remains uncertain, with calls for greater scrutiny and regulation to ensure the well-being of consumers, particularly the young and vulnerable.