Poisonous industrial dyes being used in Kashmiri Wazwan: DAK

Srinagar, Aug 31 (PR): “Poisonous industrial dyes are being used in
Kashmir’s popular multi-cuisine Wazwan,” said Doctors
Association Kashmir (DAK) on Friday in a communiqué.
“Toxic crude dyes, meant for coloring clothes are being used in
Kashmiri Wazwan,” said DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan.
He said harmful synthetic non-permitted coloring agents are
commonly used to make Wazwan more appealing and colorful.
Acid Orange, a poisonous industrial dye is being used to turn
dishes reddish for presentation in multi-course Wazwan.
The dye is not for use in food. It is used for dyeing wool, silk and
other animal and protein fibers. It is used in textile, paper, plastic
and leather industry.
Other dyes that find their way in Wazwan are Orange Red, Sun
Red and Sun Yellow.
“These dyes contain cancer-causing chemicals,” said Dr Nisar
adding that “research has shown these dyes to cause various types
of cancers.”
He further said there is epidemic of cancer in Kashmir with as
many as 26214 cancer cases in last seven years and these dyes
could be a factor.
Quoting two large, ground breaking studies, Dr Nisar said
artificial coloring agents have been linked to behavioral problems
in children like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
“In addition, these synthetic colors have been found to cause
allergies, organ damage and birth defects,” he said.
Wazwan is an integral part of Kashmir’s culture and is usually the
feast for the weddings.
“Traditionally, Wazas (chefs) would use natural colors like
sundried chilies and cockscomb flower for coloring. Nowadays,
artificial coloring agents are used posing serious risks to public
health,” Dr Nisar said.
“The food safety and standards authority permits eight synthetic
colors in specified foods at a uniform level of 100mg/kg, while the
acceptable daily intake for food colors varies from 0.1 to 25 mg/kg
body weight per day,” he said
“Eight food colors permitted are Tartrazine, Sunset Yellow for
yellow; Carmosine, Ponceau – 4R and Erithrosine for red; Brilliant
Blue and Indigo Carmine for blue; and Fast Green for Green,” he
“Though these food colors are allowed only in certain food groups
(Wazwan not one among them), their use beyond a fixed level in
even those in which they are permitted can prove carcinogenic,”
said Dr Nisar.