3 Himachal Pradesh firms under lens over ‘harmful’ sanitisers - ECAS Punjab

3 Himachal Pradesh firms under lens over ‘harmful’ sanitisers

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Vishav Bharti

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3

Jalandhar firm also in dock

  • As per the information available with The Tribune, a hand sanitiser which was found containing 95.3 per cent methanol was being sold under the brand name 'Ayush'
  • It is manufactured by a Jalandhar-based company

Four companies manufacturing hand sanitisers containing lethal methanol have come under the scanner. While three firms are based in Himachal Pradesh, one is located in Jalandhar.

The hand sanitisers claimed to kill 99.99 per cent viruses, including Covid-19.

As per Punjab's Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the hand sanitisers produced by these firms were found containing a high amount (35 to 95 per cent) of methanol. Though methanol was found in several other hand sanitisers as well, the amount was not high enough to prove that these were hazardous. Kahan Singh Pannu, Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration, said most of the other hand sanitisers were found safe for human use.

As per the information available with The Tribune, a hand sanitiser found containing 95.3 per cent methanol was being sold and manufactured by a Jalandhar-based company. The licence to manufacture the sanitiser was issued by the Punjab Ayurveda Department. Now, the FDA has written to the Director, Ayurveda, to take appropriate action against the company. However, all attempts to contact company officials remained futile as the firm had not given its complete address either on the sanitiser wrapper or to the government. However, Director, Ayurveda, Dr Rakesh Sharma said they had referred the matter to the drug inspector in Jalandhar who had issued the licence. "We will take appropriate action soon," he said.

Pannu said they had also written to the FDA, Himachal Pradesh, regarding the presence of the lethal chemical in hand sanitisers being manufactured in the state.

The 'Cosway Hand Sanitiser' being manufactured by Una-based Cosway Pharmaceuticals was also found containing methanol. However, when contacted, Ashish Kumar, plant manager of the firm, said they had not received any communication from the FDA. "Our hand sanitisers don't contain methanol. Some fraudster might be selling it under our brand name," he said.

Another hand sanitiser being sold under the brand name 'Zenitiser' was reportedly being manufactured by Shri Ramesh Industries Pvt Ltd in Baddi. However, Gurpreet Singh, one of the directors of the company, said they did not make any ethanol-based hand sanitiser and used isopropyl. "A lot of trash is being sold in our name. We have made complaints to the local FDA about some fraudsters in the past as well. We can claim responsibility only for what we make, not for what is being sold by some fraudsters who are using our brand name," he said. He also said they had not received any communication from the Punjab FDA.

An Una-based company's 'Alcohol Disinfectant Hand Sanitiser' was also found containing a large quantity of methanol. When contacted, a person who identified himself as the manager and refused to reveal his name, said each batch of their brand was tested before being sent to the market. "There is no question of selling a methanol-based hand sanitiser," he said. He gave contact details of the manufacturing chemist of the company for more details, but all calls to the number remained unanswered.

All attempts to contact Manish Kapoor, Himachal Pradesh's State Drug Controller, remained futile as he did not take the calls.



from The Tribune https://ift.tt/2ZEUjMG

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