Kashmir’s ornamental Wazwan using toxic dyes, says DAK

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‘These synthetic colors have been found to cause allergies, organ damage and birth defects’

Srinagar: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Friday said toxic crude dyes – meant for coloring clothes – are being used in Kashmir’s world famous multi-cuisineWazwan and the Valley foodies’ health are at peril.
DAK president Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a statement said that 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,” he said. “The dye is not meant 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.”
DAK claimed that other dyes that find their way into Wazwan are Orange Red, Sun Red and Sun Yellow.
“These synthetic colors have been found to cause allergies, organ damage and birth defects,” Nisar said.
Traditionally, Wazas (chefs) would use natural colors like sundried chilies and cockscomb flower for coloring, he said, adding nowadays, artificial coloring agents are used, posing serious risks to public health.
“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 noted.