A PIL has been filed before the Karnataka High Court seeking directions to lift the ban on natural non-iodised salt and to impose restrictions on the sale of iodised salt.
The PIL filed by freedom fighter H S Doreswamy has contended that crores of Indian consumers are exposed to health hazards caused by chemical components.
The petitioner has said that additive chemicals are presently used in artificially iodised salts such as E535 – sodium ferrocyanide, E536 – potassium ferrocyanide, E538 – calcium ferrocyanide and other anti-caking agents which are said to be very dangerous to health.
He has said these chemicals, by their name, have cyanide content in them. The petitioner has contended that the Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights, ITC Ltd, Tata Chemicals Ltd and Aditya Birla Retail Ltd are continuously carrying out promotions, merchandising at points of sale in retail outlets and advertising with misleading content to lure and cheat citizens to use chemically iodised salt. He said that various international studies and research have proven that excess and unnecessary consumption of iodine is dangerous to human health.
The petitioner had sought directions to the government to initiate immediate action to bring in artificially iodised salt under medicinal products to be sold only through designated medical shops and ban the sale of iodine salt in all shops other than medical shops. Hearing the PIL, a division bench comprising Chief Justice S K Mukherjee and Justice R B Budihal directed the petitioner to give a representation to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and disposed of the PIL.