Salt is a major part of our daily diet, it provides essential nutrients for the body like sodium and iodine which are necessary for the body to function properly. However, a recent study has made a big claim that most of the top brands of salt used in India may contain very harmful substances, so much so that they can increase the risk of fatal diseases like cancer.
Premium brands of processed iodized salt sold in India may reportedly contain carcinogenic and harmful ingredients like potassium ferrocyanide, a shocking report from a US laboratory has said. These can be so dangerous for health that if they are consumed for a long time, they can even lead to cancer. Carcinogens, in particular, can cause the growth of cancer cells by damaging DNA.
This increases the risk of developing one or more types of cancer.
Potassium ferrocyanide found in salt
Shiv Shankar Gupta, President, of Godhum Grains and Farms Products, said in a release that tests by American West Analytical Laboratories have found that refined salt of top brands in the country contains these harmful substances at levels as high as 4.71 mg/kg. Can. Potassium ferrocyanide is considered a 'deadly poison' in the language of chemistry. Dr. Gupta says, potassium ferrocyanide is not allowed for use in foods.
The risk from blood pressure to cancer
Gupta alleged that poisonous cyanide compounds were being used by major salt manufacturers in India. The iodine already presents naturally in salt is also added artificially, due to which it can become poisonous. Leading companies are repackaging industrial waste filled with hazardous chemicals like iodine and cyanide.
Consuming such dangerous things can lead to serious health problems like cancer, hyperthyroidism, high blood pressure, impotence, obesity, and kidney failure. Knowingly or unknowingly most of us are in the grip of it.
What do Indian companies say?
After this report came out, statements also started coming from the leading salt-selling companies in the country.
Tata Chemicals, which makes the Tata Salt brand, on Wednesday said its salt is "safe and harmless" for use. The company said that including India, countries like America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand have allowed the use of potassium ferrocyanide in salt. The lowest level permitted by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is 10 mg/kg. Potassium ferrocyanide has been declared safe for consumption at the level of 14 mg/kg. Our salt fully complies with these standards.
Need for potassium ferrocyanide in salt
The biggest question amid this debate is what is the need for agents like potassium ferrocyanide in table salt?
Reports show that the addition of potassium ferrocyanide (K4[Fe(CN)6]) helps prevent the salt from settling and clumping. However, an excess of decomposers is harmful to both human health and the environment. Indian salt sellers claim that their brands use safe quantities of potassium ferrocyanide.