FSSAI bans blending of mustard oil with other cooking oil

Synopsis – Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has banned the blending of Mustard oil with other edibles oils. This step offers a ray of hope to farmers as well as to the public.

  • With effect from June 8, Food regulator FSSAI ended practice to add other edible oil (like from palms, rice bran, etc.) to mustard oil.
  • This would end the practice to add other edible oil to mustard oil. It may also eliminate the adulteration in mustard oil, especially for domestic consumption.
  • The decision will benefit mustard growers as well as consumers.
What is dropsy epidemic and how it impacted the sale of Mustard oil?
  • The government allowed blending in edible vegetable oil by a notification in 1990.
  • In 1998, Delhi and other north Indian states witnessed the dropsy epidemic. It killed at least 60 people and 3,000 were hospitalized.
    • Dropsy epidemic – It is an acute non-infectious disease that causes swelling in the body due to the build-up of fluid in tissues. As per experts, disease resulted from the use of mustard oil.
  • It resulted in massive campaigns against the consumption of the oil.
  • The epidemic eventually impacted the sales of mustard oil.
Read Also :-Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020
Impact of allowing blending of edible oil with mustard oil
  • The sales of mustard oil dropped drastically.
  • Increases India’s dependency on oil import over the last two decades- The processing sector profited from the practice of blending since low-cost palm oil was blended up to 80% in mustard oil. As a result, mustard producers’ income dried up, discouraging them from growing the crop.
  • The agricultural land for mustard farming hasn’t increased in the last 25 years. It has consistently been at 5.5-6 million hectares.
  • Lack of support from the government– The new policies have not been effective, and farmers producing it are not supported either.
  • The blending of mustard oil is also dangerous to health.
Way forward-
  • The decision would encourage mustard growers to increase the sowing area under the mustard crop.
  • The higher domestic production of mustard oil will lead to a fall in edible oil imports.

Source- Down To Earth

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