Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Raja Foods Recalls Bindis in USA

Most Indian women consider the bindi to be an integral part of their traditional dress. Indeed the bindi is believed to complete the attire and lend grace and elegance to the persona. Even today, many women do not step out of their homes without a pretty coloured 'bindi' on their forehead.

Yet, after sindoor, it is the bindi that has come under the radar of the US FDA.

Alleged as containing a high percentage of unsafe chemicals including lead, the bindi has as off now been forced off American shelves. Raja Foods, the primary supplier for the USA market has withdrawn bindis from the market there.

Lead is considered to be a dangerous chemical and can have serious effects on the central nervous system, kidney and heart.

Bindis are generally manufactured unchecked in India. There is no regulatory agency to oversee the production of such goods, and the market is filled with many spurious and unbranded products. Manufacturers are able to take the advantages offered to them by cheap synthetic dyes and salts to mass produce this product. The safety of such chemicals itself is in doubt.

In response to this recall, the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forest has observed that a mandatory standard does need to be established with the aim of addressing these shortcomings with a view to public health. The Drug Controller General of India still does not have any safety regulations for consumers.

It is important to note that most doctors advise that bindis should not be used if one experiences even the slightest of skin irritations.

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