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This Section presents the views and discussions on the Compulsory ban on Common salt introduced in India by the Government of India.

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We strongly object to the compulsory iodisation of salt.

 

  1. It is our right as consumers to decide what kind of salt we wish to eat. Nowhere is iodized salt mandatory- not in the USA, nor in UK, Australia, Switzerland, Mauritius, Turkey etc., etc.

    As per draft notification no GSR (340E) the center is planning to
    ban the sale of all non-iodised salt in the country w.e.f 15.08.2005.
    This is a move by the Health Dept. to fight iodine deficiency (which could cause cretinism) which they have observed in the sub-Himalayan region and which they say affects about 2% to 3% of the population.
    If 2% to 3 % are iodine deficient why should 96% to 97% of Indians be forced to eat iodized salt? Isn’t this measure akin to killing a fly with a sledge hammer?
     
  2. As consumer it is our right to know which areas are iodine deficient by how much and why? We need to see this proof printed in a recognized scientific journal before we are forces to consume potassium iodate. (Potassium Iodate is an expensive chemical imported at exhorbitant cost to the ex-chequer and not approved for iodisation of table salt in US, according to the Kirk Othmer Encyclopedia. In fact potassium Iodate was labeled as “toxic, a poison” by the Ministry of Environment when the Ministry of Helth first decided to introduced it in India more than a decade age.
  3. India is large costal and iodate is available naturally to all those living on the coast through the water, sea, salt, fish, and even the AIR WE BREATHE!
    Sea salt (containing iodine in its natural form) was available till recently for .50 p to Re. 1 a kg. Then when iodised salt was made compulsory, major salt manufacturers stepped in and increased the price of compulsory iodised salt to Rs. 7- Rs 12 per Kg (And that when the cost of iodisation is only 2 pais oer kg!)

    It makes one wonder that is going to benefit by the compulsory iodisation policy. Not the common man… but salt manufactures, procurers of the expensive potassium iodate and of course, those in the Govt keen on aiding and abetting them.
  4. Endocrinologists say that before presenting iodine to any patient the extent of his iodine deficiency in his system has to be determined.
    Secondly, it is imperative to medically examine the urine of every one consuming iodine to ensure that excess iodine has been got rid off. For excess iodine in the system can cause irreparable damage.
    Does the Govt. Have the infrastructure to monitor the amount of iodine deficiency in each individual? Does it have the infrastructure to monitor the urine of each individual to see that excess iodine is got rid off? Does it have the money to pay damages to all persons who will suffer from excess iodine in their system?

    Again, does it have the infrastructure to see that iodine is sprayed uniformly on all salt? In Gujarat unscrupulous salt companies are right now randomly spraying iodine on salt lying in the open & packaging this also in the open. There is absolutely no quality control!
     
  5. Hear’s what MARTINDALE, the extra Pharmacopoea 27th Edition. Has to say about the damage excess iodine can cause to e persons system. Toxic effects of continued administration of iodine is known to lead to mental depression, nervousness, insomnia, sexual impotence, myxoedema and goiter. Hyper sensitively to iodine (Iodism) may occure actely or after prolonged administration and is characterized by coryza, headache, pain in the salivary glands, lachrymation, weakness, conjunctivitis, fever, laryngitis, bronchitis and skin reactions including ioderma, erythema, acneform eruptions, urticaria, suppurative and haemorrhagic rashes. Vomitting metallic taste in the mouth, abdominal pain and diarrhoea are also known to occur. In extreme cases, death due to oedemaof the glottis causing asphyxiation and pulmonary oedema are also recorded iodides in breast milk are suspected to cause hypothyroidism or goiter in infants. Iodine given to the mother is also known to cause Thrombocytopenia, which is hazardous to the foetus.
     
  6. Experiments to make iodised salt compulsory were conducted in Holland and Tasmania. They were a flop & had to be discontinued. In Tasmania the incidence of Thyrotoxicosis in men increased by 8.3%! England was also iodine deficient once upon a time. But instead of making iodised salt compulsory the embarked on a massive education program to educate the British to eat “right”. Today there is no iodine deficiency & iodised salt constitutes about 2.5% of the salt of all salt. Should we learn from these experiences or have the luxury of making our own blunders?

    Indians are intelligent. They have made a mark in so many fields. By depriving them of the CHOICE OF SALT they wish to eat you are equating them with cattel or morons not fit to make choices!

    Why not, like in the UK create an awareness that milling and polishing of rice and other grains removes their iodine content. Cereals, millets, pulses, leafy vegetables, roots and spices, nuts, fruits, milk and milk products, eggs, fish and even tap water contain iodine in its natural, absorbable form.
    So basically, what you need to advocate is a healthy, balanced diet and clean drinking water as it is worms and drinking water polluted with animal and human excreta and water rich in calcium drawn from deep wells, can also cause iodine deficiency.
  7. There are over 200 known trace elements in the body. Iodine is only one of then will the Govt. next step be to introduce 200 trace elements in salt as well as anti-cholestrol agents as many Indians have heart problems?!! 

In Brief,
As Indians we demand our right to the choice of salt we with to eat. And if salt is iodised, iodisation must be properly monitored. A warning must be printed on each pacet of the allergies & thyried problems that could occur. Even in iodine-deficient areas people should be given iodine with medical supervision & not by laypersons.

 

Kumkum Somani

24937701

 


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