December 24 :Aashirvaad Atta, the No. 1 packaged atta brand in the country was the subject of malicious videos on internet platforms alleging that the atta contained plastic. The said videosclaimed that ifthe dough made from ‘Aashirvaad atta’ was washed several times it resulted in a gum like substance, which was alleged to be plastic. What is being alleged as ‘plastic’ in these videos is in fact a wheat protein (also known as gluten)which binds the atta together and gives elasticity to the dough when kneaded. The said videos were made and circulated with the intent to cause confusion and false alarm among the general public regarding the use and consumption of Aashirvaad atta, and to damage the reputation of ‘Aashirvaad’ brand. Even the FSSAI regulations under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, require that all atta must contain a minimum of 6% wheat protein.
Taking on the baseless allegations made against the reputed brand, the Company had earlier filed a police complaint in Kolkata against the proprietor of Khabar Samay and his unknown associates who are understood to be behind these videos. Further, the Company also filed a suit against Khabar Samay, its proprietor Mr. Sanjay Sharma and others,inthe Court of City Civil and Sessions Judge in Bengaluru, seeking inter alia, injunction against these videos and damages for loss of reputation.Upon hearing the case, the Court passed an order on 16.12.2017 restraining the defendants, which include internet/social media platform providers, viz.Google, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, from publishing, broadcasting, communicating or in any manner making such videos available or causing or continuing to make such videos available for public viewing.The Court has also issued summons in the Suit to the said internet/social media platform providers.
An NABL accredited laboratory in Mumbai, on testing Aashirvaad Atta as well as other popular atta brands recently, has confirmed the presence of gluten in the samples of all these atta in the range of 7 to 12 percent of atta. The report of the laboratory also confirmed, that when atta dough is washed with water, starch and fibre gets removed and a residue is obtained which is gluten and not plastic
In line with its commitment to creating world-class FMCG brands that create,capture and retain value in India, ITC Ltd. has always kept the interest of the consumer at the forefront. With careful sourcing from over 6500 selection centres, over 410 tests done twice a year, manufactured in factories with ISO 22000 certification, ITC ensures that Aashirvaad Atta, like all ITC’s products, maintains and complies with the highest levels of purity, quality, safety and hygiene standards in manufacturing processes and in the supply chain.