March 26, 2019
By: Dr. Amit Rana

Does food adulteration cause cancer ?

Adulteration is the process of adding unwanted substances or chemicals in food and soft drinks with the same color or/and appearance for enhanced taste and more sales and profit in this competitive marketplace. Adulteration is very common today, in fact, the most commonly adulterated consumable is milk. Adulteration degrades the quality of food and sometimes the toxic-chemicals which are mixed into the food can be very fatal for health. A study conducted in 2012 by FSSAI across 33 states in India found out that milk sold in India was adulterated using dilute water, detergent, fat, and even urea, but the study also showed that milk is not the only adulterated product being sold across India there are many other products as well. Some of them are:

  1. Tea/Coffee
  2. Wheat and other food grains
  3. Vegetables
  4. Sweets
  5. Honey
  6. Dal
  7. Spices
  8. Butter and cream
  9. Ice-cream

The list of food items which are being chemicalized will go on and on thus putting our lives at way more risk that can be anticipated.

Do chemicals in food cause cancer?

Many customers are cheated every day due to certain chemicals mixed in the food items which not only cause them to lose their money but also their health. Consumption of such food can cause cancer, food poisoning which can decrease the life span of a person drastically or immediately. According to food safety and standards act 1995 the chemicals used in the food need to labeled with the amount of it used in the food item, but I recent times traders have failed to do so or they intentionally do not do so as they have misbalanced the chemical composition of the food. Doctors have warned against consuming such food as one consumed these food items can react anyhow with the chemicals present inside the human body and can cause a serious disease like cancer. Doctors have also stated that before consuming any kind of vegetables or before cooking them if the vegetables are washed in lukewarm water for around thirty minutes, it can kill the adulterants present within.

Formalin is cancer prompting chemical which is used in keeping dead meat and fish fresh. It has been found that this chemical is used to keep dead fish fresh in the local fish market of Guwahati city. The state laboratory has found the unexpected presence of formalin in the bodies of dead fish. Other than fishes it has been found that sulfites which are used to preserve dry fruits, canned fruits, canned olives, wine are found as the root cause of cancer in many cases, even canned meat is found to cause cancer as the preservatives used are rather harmful n a large scale for the body.

How to stay safe of adulterated foods?

Choosing the right food and the right diet can keep. Food items purchased from trusted sources having big turnovers ensure the quality and freshness of the food. Chemicals often used as preservatives to store canned food items and other stuff can be of great harm if exposed to the vast population causing disastrous diseases in any corner of this vast globe. Foodstuffs and other such items can be rid of these chemicals and other pesticides by washing the food items thoroughly in water or distilled water. Often the insect control sprays used in kitchens and other rooms land in the stored fruits and vegetables which results in sickness and diseases. Among the various diseases caused by chemicals and adulterants liver damage, blood poisoning and cancer are a few among the most serious diseases.

Experts have estimated that around a good number counting up to 50-60 percent of the population of India are unaware of adulterants being used to enhance the quality of food at the cost of the customers’ health, and even more sellers are selling food which does not mention the additives used to preserve the food under optimal conditions thus cheating most customer and risking their lives. Health experts have recommended that before checking the expiry date on the can of the food item one should check the ingredients and the quantity in which they are used, if necessary dig deeper and research on the product and even question the shopkeeper.  Readymade foods are often served by heating them slightly in a microwave but we do not the ingredients which were used to make the food items.

Studies have shown that most people eating readymade food do not stay very healthy their entire lifetime. Some develop blood cancer or blood poisoning, some people have their livers damaged and others come out with oral cancer or throat cancer.