INDIAS ban on mustard oil has created a scare that has spread through the countrys entire edible oil industry.
The ban will hit the future mustard crop and its farmers, said Ajay Tandon, president of the Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEAI).
The states of Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Orissa and Assam banned mustard oil sales last week after 41 people died from a dropsy caused by the oil. The oil was said to have been adulterated with a toxic alkaloid sanguinarine in argemore oil.
Mustard accounts for nearly 25% of Indias domestic oil output and the ban will affect other edible oils as well. Its mustard crop totals nearly 5 million tonnes, from which 1.7m tonnes of oil is extracted.
- Financial Times 04/09/98 page 30 (News Digest)