Another Prosecution for the use of Rhodamine B in Food
Javid Iqbal the owner of La Jawab, a Luton based business was found guilty of an offence under Regulation 3 of the Food Additives, Flavourings, Enzymes and Extraction Solvents (England) Regulations 2013 by placing food on the market containing Rhodamine B, an unauthorised additive. Iqbal was fined £3,000, ordered to pay £2,200 prosecution costs and to pay £100 victim surcharge at Leeds Magistrates court on 15th December 2015.
Rhodamine B appears green in powder form but when dissolved in water turns a vivid fluorescent pink colour. It finds many legitimate uses in science and industry. But it is not a permitted food additive in the EU. EFSA consider it to be to be potentially both carcinogenic and genotoxic.
The issue came to light as part of routine sampling work conducted by Officers from the West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service. They sampled sugar coated fennel seeds from premises in Leeds and Calderdale. Upon testing by the Public Analyst it was discovered that the pink collating on some seeds contained Rhodamine B. Investigations revealed that these had been imported by La Jawab and that no testing had been carried out to ensure their compliance with EU legislation.
Dr Duncan Campbell, Public Analyst for West Yorkshire, who directed the analysis and issued the certificates highlighting the offences said “ Previous occurrences of Rhodamine B in Asian sweets were a local issue . However sugar coated fennel seeds like these could be on sale anywhere. We analysed ten similar products bought in London by researchers for the recent series of BBC’s Fake Britain and found Rhodamine B in three of them.”