With the recent detection of toxins in the agricultural products exported from India, the Indian company India Glycol Ltd. is going through some troubled times. Very recently, chemicals like dioxins, furans and pentachlorophenol were traced in the consignment of guar gum exported to Switzerland.
This situation will make Indian food industry look bad in the foreign market. Swiss manufacturing giant, Unipektin has taken an immediate action against the Indian food products and recalled a whole bunch of them. The company recalled several batches of additives that are used to yogurt, and desserts. The swiss company supplies these additives to a whole bunch of EU nations, and the fact that toxins have been discovered in them is very disturbing indeed.
Guar is a plant grown in the Indian states of Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan. According to the sources, this additive obtained from India, is mostly used as a ‘water soluble emulsifier’ in the food items like yogurt and chewing gums. Just hearing this news makes me sick to the stomach. I am a chewing gum addict and maybe, I should check the toxin level in my body.
As usual, the Indian company Glycol Ltd. is denying the allegations. According to the company secretary, steps have been taken to investigate the matter. Glycol also acknowledges the fact that they are not the only suppliers to the Swiss company. Lalit Kumar Sharma, Company secretary of Glycol Ltd. recently said:
They had sent a team to our factory for inspection. They have not confirmed contamination to us officially.
Sharma further added:
We are not their only suppliers and we have not been named officially by the Swiss company. There are other companies too exporting to Unipektin from India
Another aspect of this issue is: India has only one facility where specialized food testing can be carried out. As of now, there are no regulations that impose mandatory testing on the Indian food products that are exported. All I can say is, this is a sorry state of affairs.