The Jammu and Kashmir government has declared use of Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) in Momos as unsafe and conducted an awareness drive against its use, Health and Medical Education Minister Bali Bhagat said Friday. The Minister was replying to a Calling Attention Notice by Ramesh Arora in the Leigslative Council.
Arora drew government’s attention towards “the situation arisen due to use of MSG/Azinomoto in momos and supplements used in Gym which cause serious kidney problem and other related diseases including cancer”. Bhagat said a special drive to detect use of MSG in Momos was conducted by Drugs and Food Control Organisation J&K.
The minister said that eight samples of Momos were lifted for analytical purposes, of which six were declared as unsafe for human consumption. He said the defaulters were immediately prosecuted in the appropriate Court of Law and the matters are still sub-judice. He said that awareness programmes against the use of Monosodium Glutamate were also conducted.
Replying to a supplementary, the minister said the Ajinomoto is an additive used to enhance taste and its main ingredient is MSG. He said main health effects of MSG includes high cholesterol, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excessive body fat, sterility in females and it may also cause water retention during pregnancy and Asthma problems.
On food supplements, the minister said the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has requested all the states to initiate a special drive to check use of banned substances in food supplements and in case of any suspicion, samples, may be drawn and sent to National Anti-Doping Agency. Bhagat said in response to the communication of the FSSAI, nine samples of food supplements were sent to the said agency, of which one product was declared to be containing a prohibited substance, at low concentration and which can put the health of its users at risk.
He said the reports of three samples of health supplements sent to National Anti-Doping Agency are still awaited. The minister informed the House that accordingly the manufacture, storage, sale, distribution of the supplement was prohibited in Jammu and Kashmir by the Commissioner, Food Safety.