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March 27 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm


In response to health concerns regarding the presence of Rhodamine B, a potentially hazardous coloring agent, Himachal Pradesh has implemented a one-year ban on the production, sale, and storage of Cotton Candy, also known as candy floss.

This measure follows similar actions taken by states like Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Goa, aimed at curbing the use of harmful coloring agents. Consumption of snacks containing these artificial colors poses potential long-term health risks, including cancer.

Key Highlights:

Cotton Candy Overview:

  • Cotton candy, also called candy floss or fairy floss, is a spun sugar confectionery popularly served at carnivals, fairs, and amusement parks.
  • It is made by heating and liquefying sugar, then spinning it out through tiny holes where it re-solidifies into long strands, forming a fluffy texture.

Rhodamine B:

  • Rhodamine B is a coloring agent commonly used in textile, paper, and leather industries.
  • While it provides vibrant hues to street food items like gobi manchurian and cotton candy, it is unfit for consumption and may cause acute toxicity and irritation.
  • Though the World Health Organization hasn’t classified it as carcinogenic to humans, studies on rats have shown carcinogenic effects.

Food Safety Concerns:

  • Rhodamine B is usually reported from small roadside vendors in small cities, where it’s “illegally” added to preparations such as gobi manchurian, potato wedges, butter chicken, pomegranate juice, ice creams, and cotton candies.
  • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has banned Rhodamine B from being used in food products under the Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006.

Allowed Food Colors:

  • FSSAI permits the use of natural and synthetic colors in food items, including carotene, chlorophyll, riboflavin, caramel, annatto, saffron, curcumin, Ponceau 4R, Carmoisine, Erythrosine, Tartrazine, Sunset Yellow FCF, Indigo Carmine, Brilliant Blue FCF, and Fast Green FCF.
  • These colors are used in various food products like ice creams, biscuits, cakes, confectioneries, fruit syrups, custard powder, jelly crystals, and carbonated or noncarbonated beverages.

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI):

  • Establishment: FSSAI is an autonomous statutory body established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
  • Mandate: It aims to regulate and supervise food safety and quality in India, consolidating various food-related laws and establishing a single reference point for food safety matters.
  • Functions and Powers: FSSAI frames regulations and standards for food products, grants licenses and registrations to food businesses, enforces food safety laws, conducts monitoring and surveillance, and promotes food fortification and organic food.
  • Regional Presence: FSSAI operates under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare with headquarters in New Delhi and regional offices in eight zones across the country.
  • Responsibilities: It is responsible for protecting and promoting public health by ensuring the safety and quality of food products through rigorous regulation, enforcement, and awareness programs.


By adhering to FSSAI regulations and promoting awareness about safe food practices, India can mitigate health risks associated with harmful additives and ensure the well-being of its citizens.

Continued vigilance and strict enforcement of food safety standards are essential to protect consumers from potential health hazards.

Mains Question:

  1. Discuss the recent ban imposed by Himachal Pradesh on the production, sale, and storage of Cotton Candy, citing concerns over the presence of Rhodamine B. Analyse the implications of such measures in ensuring food safety and public health. (150 WORDS)


March 27
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category: