9 Food Items That Have Been Banned In India By FSSAI

9 Food Items That Have Been Banned In India By FSSAI

9 Food Items That Have Been Banned In India By FSSAI

Share This News

Know why these food items have been banned by the Food Safety and Standards Association of India.

16 May 2024

By Khushi Maheshwari 

India, a country with a wide range of cultural customs and culinary traditions, has strict laws in place to guarantee food safety and safeguard the general public’s health. While the nation celebrates and enjoys a wide variety of meals, the Food Safety and Standards Association of India (FSSAI) has prohibited a number of foods for a number of reasons, including cultural sensitivities, environmental impact and health concerns. Here is a list of 11 such items that are prohibited in India, along with the justifications for the bans and consumer advice.

  1. Chinese Milk and Milk Products: The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) banned Chinese milk and milk products, including infant formula, in 2008 in response to multiple food safety scandals and contamination issues in China. Chinese dairy products have been found to contain contaminants like melamine, a hazardous chemical that is used to artificially increase protein levels. This poses a major risk to customers’ health. According to sources, melamine also caused kidney stones and other renal damage in newborns in the past. This ban was imposed after the death of 6 infants and hospitalisation of about 54,000 in China, infamously known as the melamine milk scandal. 
  1. Genetically Modified Foods (GM foods): India has placed limitations on the production and import of genetically modified (GM) food products, citing concerns about the effects on the environment, the loss of biodiversity and possible health hazards. Commercial cultivation of GM crops, including Bt cotton, is permitted, but the approval process for GM food crops is still very strict. More thorough safety evaluations and governmental control are demanded by those who contend that genetically modified foods could have long-term negative effects on human health and the environment.
  2. Potassium Bromate: Due to its carcinogenic qualities, potassium bromate, a food ingredient used to increase bread volume and dough flexibility, was outlawed by the FSSAI in 2016. Because of research showing a higher risk of cancer, especially thyroid cancer, potassium bromate has been banned from usage in bread and bakery goods by regulatory bodies. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has designated potassium bromate as a potentially carcinogenic substance for humans. Research on animals has demonstrated that it can result in cancers, especially in the kidney and thyroid.
  3. Artificial Fruit Ripeners: Due to safety and health risks, chemical agents used to artificially ripen fruits—such as calcium carbide and ethylene gas—have been outlawed in India. During the ripening process, calcium carbide in particular releases acetylene gas, a recognised carcinogen, endangering the health of its consumers. India wants to safeguard the public’s health and guarantee the safety and quality of fruits sold in the country by outlawing the use of these artificial ripening agents.
  4. Foie Gras (duck/goose liver): Due to ethical concerns about the forced feeding of ducks or geese to expand their livers—a technique that animal welfare advocates deem cruel and inhumane—Foie Gras was banned in India in 2014. India’s stance on animal rights and the humane treatment of animals used in food production is demonstrated by its prohibition on foie gras. India has demonstrated its opposition to the use of animals for gastronomic purposes by outlawing the import and sale of foie gras, joining international efforts to combat animal abuse and advance more humane agricultural methods.
  5. Sassafras Oil: The FSSAI outlawed Sassafras oil in 2003 because of its high erucic acid concentration, which raises the risk of heart disease and other illnesses. Sassafras oil has higher than allowed quantities of erucic acid, which led to the prohibition to shield customers from possible harm to their cardiovascular health.
  6. Chinese garlic: The FSSAI banned the import of Chinese garlic into India in 2019 on worries about the high levels of pesticide residues in Chinese garlic. Chinese garlic was found to contain pesticide levels over allowable limits, which could seriously endanger consumer health. The prohibition on the import and sale of Chinese garlic in the Indian market was implemented with the intention of safeguarding public health and upholding food safety regulations. This action brought to light how crucial it is to have strict laws and quality assurance procedures in place to protect customers from dangerous substances found in food items.
  7. Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO): Some drinks, like sodas with citrus flavours, contain brominated vegetable oil added to aid emulsify flavourings and keep them from separating. On the other hand, bromine, which is present in brominated vegetable oil, has been connected to health problems like thyroid problems and neurological symptoms. The use of BVO in food and drink has been outlawed or limited in more than 100 countries.
  8. Rabbit Meat: Religious sensitivities and worries about animal welfare led to the ban of rabbit meat in India. The bulk of the population, Hindus, abstain from eating the meat of this animal. In addition, the restriction is consistent with Indian culture’s principles of compassion and respect for all living things and reflects broader ethical considerations regarding the treatment of animals. India demonstrates its commitment to animal welfare by outlawing the sale and eating of rabbit meat and encouraging a more humane method of producing and consuming food.