Dominican Republic.-The National Observatory for Consumer Protection (ONPECO) urges the Public Health authorities to maintain the ban on using potassium bromate in bread and flour to safeguard the health of the consuming population.
The consumer defense organization recalls that since 2009 its use was definitively prohibited by Public Health because it was determined that the continuous consumption of potassium bromate contributes to the development of thyroid and kidney cancer.
“Potassium bromate is banned in most countries around the world after its link to cancer was established. In Japan, tests were carried out on rats and they showed that this additive caused kidney cancer”.
For ONPECO, it is an unpleasant surprise that, despite eliminating its use, the official decision supported by the sectors involved in producing bread and flour has not been maintained. This chemical is added to bread and flour to prolong its durability and, in the case of bread, also to increase its volume.
In 2008, the bakers admitted that they were adding the additive without control due to their ignorance of the damage it caused. They warned that other additives did not harm health, so their replacement would not be traumatic.
“We were surprised to find that this chemical is being used despite its ban in 2009 and endorsement by flour processors in 2011, who assured that they would not use it due to proven health harm and in line with the decision of the Ministry of Public Health.
ONPECO adds, through a statement that, “Thanks to the follow-up carried out by Nuria Piera on this issue, we have learned that this product has been used again when it should be the authorities themselves who follow up on the measures adopted institution to protect the health of all.
ONPECO recalls the fundamental role that public opinion played in eradicating the use of potassium bromate and the importance of its influence on the authorities’ actions. Therefore, we consider that in our country, when we are careless, we are easily deceived.
ONPECO believes that the use of nitrites and nitrates, substances that are harmful to health, should be monitored, as well as the use of glyphosate in agriculture should be prohibited and the application of regulations on food additives controlled as part of a permanent protocol to prevent diseases.
It requests the authorities to inform the population about the use of additives in flour and bread, “a situation that we believed was overcome, so that those of us who consume these products can exercise our right to choose foods that do not cause us harm, as established by the Constitution, the Republic, and the laws.”