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Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019

Found Diwali mawa at a cheaper rate in Mumbai? Beware, it might be adulterated

While mawa is usually made from milk fats, the adulterated one is made using vegetable oil, milk powder and sugar in Mumbai

mumbai Updated: Oct 16, 2017 16:32 IST
Sadaguru Pandit
Sadaguru Pandit
Hindustan Times
Officials have seized more than 2,44,888kg sweets across Maharashtra.
Officials have seized more than 2,44,888kg sweets across Maharashtra.(HT)

Buying Diwali sweets this week? Beware of cheap mawa. Activists have written to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about more than 15 tonnes of adulterated mawa being allegedly sold in sweet markets across Maharashtra.

Activists wrote to FDA minister Girish Bapat and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis,saying an illegal mawa racket has been running in Maharashtra and Gujarat for the past two years.

“While mawa is usually made from milk fat, it is adulterated using vegetable oil, milk powder and sugar. More than 40 trucks of adulterated mawa have been travelling from Gujarat to Maharashtra before Diwali for the past two years,” said RPY Rao, president, Society for Social Awareness of Civil Rights, an NGO that works in the field of public health.

Rao said the adulterated mawa is distributed in Thane, Ghatkopar, Kurla and Mumbai Central, using which barfis or pedas are made and are sold during Diwali.

“It is packaged under an unknown brand name, and sold in packets of 5kg and 10kg at almost half the market rate. I have urged the minister and the CM to carry out an inquiry with the help of the FDA’s vigilance commissioner,” Rao said.

Pallavi Darade, FDA commissioner, Maharashtra, told HT she hasn’t received any notification yet. “I will definitely look into the issue,” she said.She said the FDA has been seizing adulterated sweets and other edibles since August 20.

“We have seized more than 2,44,888kg sweets across Maharashtra as a part of our festive drives. As many as 961 samples are being tested in our laboratories to find out how they have been tampered with,” Darade added.

A letter by the Food Safety Standards Authority of India — addressed to Dr H G Koshia, food safety commissioner, Gujarat, and Dr H S Kamble, food safety commissioner, Maharashtra, — directed both states to initiate action on a complaint filed by Rao regarding the sale of barfi made using adulterated mawa.

“Both states are aware of the issue, but no action has been taken since the pat two years. Officials shouldn’t wait for a tragedy, such as mass food poisoning, to initiate action,” Rai added.

First Published: Oct 16, 2017 16:32 IST

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