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Cancer-causing substance found in pizzas, burgers

CSE suggested presence of potassium bromate and potassium iodate in most bakery products

Policy Pulse
Publish Date: May 24 2016 1:48PM | Updated Date: May 24 2016 1:48PM

Cancer-causing substance found in pizzas, burgers

According to the Centre for Science and Environment report, KFC (part of the Yum chain of restaurants), Pizza Hut (Yum chain), Subway Systems and Green House and Hestsoft Foods (Slice of Italy) have denied use of potassium bromate or potassium iodate.


Potassium bromate can cause cancer and is banned in most parts of the world, but not in India. Potassium iodate, on the other hand, can cause thyroid-related diseases. The Union health ministry also asked for a detailed report on the findings.


CSE's pollution monitoring laboratory (PML) found residues of potassium bromate/iodate in over 84 per cent of bread and bakery samples sourced from Delhi.


The use of potassium iodate as a flour treatment agent in breads should not be allowed by FSSAI. It is not recommended as a flour treatment agent in several countries due to possible higher intake of iodine, which can potentially affect the functioning of the thyroid gland, said the report.


Breadmaker Britannia Industries has denied its use in its products. But no response was received from Jubilant Food Works (Domino's) so far, shared CSE. Shares of franchisees of quick service restaurants (QSRs) such as Domino's and McDonald's dropped up to 10 per cent in Tuesday's trade after the report came.