84% Of The Bread In Delhi Could Cause Cancer – But How Credible Is The Threat?

A study by Centre for Science and Environment has found that 84% of bread and bakery products samples collected from Delhi contained residues of Potassium Bromate and Potassium Iodate.

Your daily bread could contain cancer-causing chemicals, including Potassium Bromate and Potassium Iodate, substances that are banned in many countries, the study, conducted by CSE’s Pollution Monitoring Laboratory (PML), says Indian bread manufacturers use Potassium Bromate and Potassium Iodate for treating flour while making bread. The PML tested 38 commonly available branded varieties of pre-packaged breads of popular fast food outlets from Delhi.

What is causing the cancer?

Potassium bromate is the main culprit – it has been classified as a category of 2B carcinogen which is mostly cancerous for humans. This is the reason it is banned in most countries. Not in India of course because of easy-going food regulations.


“Potassium bromate is one of 11,000 food additives that are allowed in food business. After careful consideration, the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has decided to remove potassium bromate from the list of permissible additives,” FSSAI CEO Pawan Kumar Agarwal said.


 Cancer-Causing Chemicals

 “As far as issue of notification is concerned the FSSAI has already sent the recommendation to Ministry of Health and it would be issued by the Ministry and there it may take a week or two.” Agarwal added.

What do CSE test results show?

Eighty-four per cent (32/38) samples were found with Potassium Bromate/Iodate in the range of 1.15-22.54 parts per million (ppm). Seventy-nine per cent (19/24) samples of packaged bread, all samples of white bread, pav, bun and ready-to-eat pizza bread and 75 per cent (3/4) samples of ready-to-eat burger bread tested positive.



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