No more gobi manchurian, cotton candy in Karnataka? Health Minister clarifies on fight against cancerous food colours

Ruling out a blanket ban on cotton candy and gobi manchurian in Karnataka, state health minister Dinesh Gundurao said that the move is only against the preparation and sale of artificially coloured food items. The presence of harmful chemicals like Tartrazine, Sunset Yellow, and Carmosine in lion’s share of samples have forced the government to act, he said citing a recent report.

The move to ban artificially colored gobi manchurian and coloured cotton candy came after cancer-causing chemicals were obtained in several samples collected for examination from different parts of Karnataka by the health department. After the test results from across the state including Bengaluru confirmed the health department’s worries, the crackdown was ordered and violators will face jail term, the health minister warned. Tamil Nadu and Goa also had imposed restrictions on the sale of gobi manchurian and cotton candy on similar grounds.

“Out of the 171 gobi samples, as many as 107 samples tested positive for carcinogenic chemicals such as Tartrazine, Sunset Yellow, and Carmosine color. Similarly, out of the 25 samples of cotton candy, about 15 samples tested positive for artificial and cancer-causing chemicals like Tartrazine and Rhodamine-B,” Dinesh Gundurao was quoted as saying by Times Of India (TOI).

“Any violation of this order by food vendors, eateries, and hotels/restaurants will attract punishment, including imprisonment for 7 years to a life term and a penalty of ₹10 lakh, besides cancelling the trade licenses,” the daily quoted the minister as saying.

However, vendors are permitted to sell cotton candies sans food colours in Karnataka. Banning the sale and consumption of  highly nutritious cauliflower is also out of the question, the minister said.