The factory based in Agra, the city famous for the Taj Mahal, was raided on Monday by officers who found large quantities of different types of counterfeit spices including red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric and garam masala (mixed spices) which were being readied to be sold under the names of several local brands, according to a report by the Times of India newspaper.
The city’s joint magistrate Prem Prakash Meena said in a statement that the authorities seized over 300kg of counterfeit spices and also found “donkey dung, hay, inedible colours and drums full of acid” that manufacturers were using to create the fake condiments.
The authorities say they have sent 27 samples to labs for testing. A case has been registered against the owner of the factory, Anoop Varshney, who is a member of Hindu Yuva Vahini, a right wing Hindu organisation founded by the chief minister of the state Yogi Adityanath.
According to Mr Meena, the owner also failed to provide a licence for operating the spice factory or the registration of brands under which the spices were being prepared to be sold.
The authorities are now investigating where these counterfeit spices or the ingredients were being supplied and sold and if it is going to cause any serious health hazards to those who may have consumed it.
Food adulteration in India is a common problem and several such factories producing counterfeit products have been busted by the police in the past. Last month a factory was raided in the southern city of Cuttack where adulterated spices like turmeric and chilli powder were being produced.
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