The Delhi High Court has set aside an earlier stay order on the AAP government’s circular to ban the use of animal-origin ingredients in the manufacture of ‘chandi ka warq’, an item used as a decoration on sweets, and also in Unani and Ayurvedic medicines.
A bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Chander Shekhar allowed the disposal of existing stock of the decorative item currently available with the traditional manufacturers of silver leaf.
The Delhi government had sent out a circular prohibiting the use of the material prepared by the traditional process based on a central notification.
Traditional Manufactures To Make Representation Before FSSAI
The court issued the judgement after hearing a petition filed by traditional manufacturers of ‘chandi ka warq’. The petitioners have said that they would make a representation before the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to prove that their method was hygienic and without any risk of contamination.
In a July 2016 notification, the FSSAI had banned the use of the silver leaf prepared using the traditional method, wherein the intestine of a cow or buffalo is used, stating that it was unhygienic and may result in infection and contamination of the silver leaf.
In the traditional process, the silver is hammered into a thin sheet while placed inside the intestine of a cow or buffalo.
FSSAI Says New Method Available
The FSSAI informed the court of a new method of manufacturing ‘chandi ka warq’ now available to create silver leaf involving sheets of black specially treated paper and polyester sheets covered in food-grade calcium powder.
The petitioners argued that their method wasn’t unhygienic as the animal skin is typically dried and processed.
The bench has asked the petitioners to present their case before the FSSAI and has recommended that the authority take a decision and communicate it within three months of receiving the said representation.