Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Spice here, Rat poison there!

Cinnamon in extensively used as a spice in India. Traditionally both Cinnamon and Cassia are in use as spices and in the manufacture of spices. Since Cassia has created health problems, most of the European countries have banned its imports. USA, UK and Germany are importing Cassia to make Rat poison. In India, the product in the Indian market is Cinnamon zeylanicum .i.e., Cassia or Cinnamon cassia. This fake cinnamon contains Coumarin that is extensively used as a rat poison.

Coumarin damages liver and kidneys in humans even in small doses, The problem is that most people do not know what true Cinnamon looks or smells like. People prefer cassia for its smell and taste which is sharper than cinnamon. The imported cost of Cassia is Rs 35/- Per Kg while that of the Cinnamon is between Rs. 150/- t Rs. 600/- per kg. The problem is that Cassia is being substituted extensively. Cinnamon and Cassia are two different plants. It is unfortunate no major steps are taken by the concerned countries to curb such practices.

From a Letter
BVB, Nov, 2013

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