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Rampant Adulteration In Loose Edible Oil Sold Openly Despite Ban – Reveals A Report By Ngo Consumer Voice

Highest adulteration found is 85%- coconut oil, 74.07% -cottonseed oil, 74%-sesame oil and 71.77% in mustard oil. If we look for lowest soyabean oil with 20% findings sunflower oil with 16.5 %.

New Delhi: Consumer Voice, the Voluntary Consumer Organization working in interest of consumer education and rights of consumers has recently done laboratory tests of loose edible oils of 8 varieties namely Mustard, Sesame, Coconut, Sunflower, Palmolein, Soyabean, Groundnut and Cottonseed. 1, 015 samples of loose edible oils were taken from 15 states including Delhi. The base of the tests was both on quality and safety parameters as per FSSAI standards and samples were tested at NABL (National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories) accredited laboratory. Adulteration in oil can cause diseases like cancer, paralysis, allergy, liver damage cardiac arrest and epidemic dropsy

The 15 states covered for the samples collections are Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

As per Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales Regulations 2011), no person is allowed to sell, expose to sale, distribute, offer for a sale, dispatch or deliver to anyone edible oils in loose form. Though with the provision that the state government, in public interest, can exempt any or all edible oils from this regulation for a specific period

“The main objective behind these tests made by Consumer Voice is to draw conclusive evidence based on scientific testing that loose edible oils sold are prone to various kinds of adulterations” said, Mr. Ashim Sanyal, Chief Operating Officer Consumer Voice. “This is true for all varieties of edible oil and cuts across all states where adulteration is done unhindered with no control by state FDA’s” adds Mr. Sanyal

Based on high salability there were two-types of largest selling variety of oils in loose form that were collected from each state. As per Food Safety and Standard Regulations the checklist for the adulteration includes: visibility, odour, uspended particles argemone oil, unsaponifiable matter etc.

  • Highest adulteration found is 85%- coconut oil, 74.07% -cottonseed oil, 74%-sesame oil and 71.77% in mustard oil. If we look for lowest soyabean oil with 20% findings sunflower oil with 16.5 %.
Edible Oil Total Failed % Failure
Coconut Oil 149 126 84.56
Cottonseed Oil 54 40 74.07 %
Sesame Oil 50 37 71.77%
Mustard Oil 124 89 71.77%
Groundnut 152 90 59.21%
Palmolein 50 16 32%
Soyabean 230 46 20%
Sunflower 206 34 16.5%
1,015 478 47.09%

The main findings highlighted:                                                     

  • Adulteration was found in loose oil samples collected from all 15 states.
  • Adulterated oil can be one of the main reasons of causing diseases, like Argemone seeds in mustard seeds can cause cardiac arrest, epidemic dropsy. Mineral oil in some edible oils causes’ cancer, paralysis, allergy, liver damage. Increase in serum cholesterol are other life risk diseases.                                                                                                                                                                            

Based on this random checking / testing and after publishing the test results in the Magazine CONSUMER VOICE, the organization recommends that Government should :

  • Ban the sale of any form of loose edible oils in all states.
  • Enforce market surveillance by local authorities to catch the culprits selling loose oils.
  • Apply strict punishments for those caught selling loose edible oils.
  • FSSAI should remove the provision of state exemptions on the prohibitionRegulation .
  • Packaging of oil should be in small packets (100ml/200ml) so that it reached to everyone
  • State FDA’s must constitute a high level enquiry based on this Consumer Voice report
  • Advertise for consumers to buy only packaged edible oils to be safe and to avoid adulteration
  • For checking this rampant wrong practice, states should form FDA inspection squads to detect sale of loose edible oils.
  • FSSAI and Health Ministry should take immediate contingency measures to stop sale of loose oil.


Consumer VOICE is one of the Leading Consumer Organisation in the India. Working under “Jago Grahak Jago” program of Ministry of Consumer Affairs besides other Ministries, Regulatory bodies, standards organizations, world bodies and Standing Committees of Parliaments, our work of Comparative Testing for product testing and services evaluations are for the masses. We are doing advocacy for all the consumers to various authorities and consumers across India are getting benefited from our work. Our magazines and website, besides educational workshops on various subjects are the tools of consumer education and empowerment across the nation and all consumers get benefited from our work.

Consumer VOICE
0-45( Basement ) Lajpat Nagar Part –II, ring road
New Delhi -110024  011-47331023

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