State food & consumer protection departments’ raids manufacturers adulterating refined sunflower oil with cheap & unhygienic palm oil

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Mumbai, January 27, 2022: Maharashtra’s Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection Department and the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) department with the help of a local NGO, conducted a series of raids on the edible oil factories across Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). The Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection Department raided Gautam Agro India in Vashi while the state Food & Drug Administration (FDA) raided Shri Galaxy Enterprise in Bhiwandi and Ashirwad Oil Depot in Miraroad. All raids were conducted over the last few weeks to check the quality and hygiene standards being followed by them.

The raid was conducted post receiving information from the consumer welfare Mumbai-based NGO – Food and Drugs Consumer Welfare Committee that edible oil of some manufacturers is being adulterated and palm oil is getting mixed with the refined Sunflower oil. These adulterated oil packs are sold as pure sunflower oil to consumers in various packs/sizes across Mumbai and parts of Maharashtra like Panvel, Alibaug, Raigad, among others.  The factories where oil is being manufactured are unhygienic posing more threat to citizen’s health.

On Tuesday, the Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection Department raided the factory of Gautam Agro based in Vashi. Gautam Agro makes and sells oil under names such as Gautam Taral, Suntop, Suntime, Golden Delight, Divya and Galaxy’s Freshlight. The packs of the aforementioned oil claim to be refined sunflower oil but they have palm oil adulterated in them. The department has confiscated samples of these oil packs and have sent it for further investigation to ascertain the levels of adulteration and toxicity.

Last week, the state Food & Drug Administration (FDA) department raided Shri Galaxy Enterprise based out of Bhiwandi and Ashirwad Oil Depot located in Miraroad who are suspected to adulterate sunflower oil by mixing palm oil. Shri Galaxy Enterprises manufacture and sell oil under names like Golden Delight Refined Sunflower Oil, Galaxy’s Freshlight Refined Sunflower Oil, Super Sunlite Refined Sunflower Oil, Divya Refined Sunflower Oil, Super Sun Refined Sunflower Oil, Saurashtra Groundnut Oil, Shree Rajwadi Groundnut Oil, Galaxy’s Gajanan, and Rudraskha Groundnut Oil. Whereas Miraroad’s Ashirwad Oil Depot make and sell oil under Surya Refined Sunflower Oil, Super Sun Gold Refined Sunflower Oil and Sun Silver Refined Sunflower Oil. The FDA department has confiscated samples of these oils and is currently testing for adulteration and toxicity.

Commenting on the action taken in Vashi, Mr. Kamlesh D. Kedare, officer, Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection Department, Maharashtra, said, “We had received information from our sources as well as complaints that some manufacturers are involved in the adulteration of edible oil. This include some of the prominent manufacturers due to which this raid was conducted. The oil made by them is sold across Mumbai and part of Maharashtra like Panvel, Alibaug, Raigad etc. The oil manufacturers are hurting the interest of people as they are being sold adulterated food items made in unhygienic conditions. Apart from the Vashi raid conducted by us, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) also conducted raids on oil manufacturers in Bhiwandi and Miraroad area over the last two weeks.

Keith David, Secretary, Food & Drugs Consumer Welfare Committee (FDCWC), said, “Adulteration of edible oils has emerged as a malpractice adopted by some known oil manufacturers. This is against the interest of consumers. The problem is rampant across Mumbai and the entire state of Maharashtra. We are thankful to the Food & Drug Administration department for taking swift action against the suspected manufacturers. This action will deter manufacturers from engaging in adulteration of oil across Maharashtra. At FDCWC, we are committed to the interest of consumers and ensure that they get the best quality and safe products.”