New Delhi: Nearly 40% of Ayurveda products, including items from Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali, were found to be of substandard quality by Haridwar’s Ayurveda and Unani Office, a Right to Information (RTI) reply revealed.
Out of the 82 samples collected between 2013 and 2016, 32 failed the quality test. Patanjali’s Divya Amla Juice and Shivlingi Beej were among the products that failed to meet the quality standards.
Last month, the armed forces’ Canteen Stores Department (CSD) had suspended the sale of a batch of Patanjali’s amla juice after it ‘failed’ a quality test carried out at West Bengal Public Health Laboratory.
According to Uttarakhand state government lab report, the pH value- which measures the alkalinity of water soluble substances- was found to be less than the prescribed limit in the amla juice. Products with pH value less than seven could lead to acidity and other medical complications.
The RTI reply also revealed that 31.68% of foreign matter was found in the Shivlingi Beej. Ramdev’s associate and Patanjali’s managing director, Acharya Balkrishna, denied the lab report. “Shivlingi Beej is a natural seed. How can we adulterate it?”, he said and claimed that the report was an attempt to malign Patanjali’s image.
Besides Patanjali products, 18 samples of Ayurveda drugs such as Avipattikara Churna, Talisadya Churna, Pushyanuga Churna, Lavan Bhaskar Churna, Yograj Guggulu, Laksha Guggulu were also found substandard.
Over the years, Uttarakhand has emerged as a major hub of Ayurveda products. Haridwar and Rishikesh have more than 1,000 dealers, manufacturers and suppliers of Ayurveda medicines.
One of the manufacturers, Minor Forest Produce Processing And Research Centre (MFP-PARC), said the drugs were supplied only after Uttrakhand Ayush wing’s approval.
Ayush minister Harak Singh Rawat said the department was in the process of carrying out more regular tests to ensure product quality.
“We have a lab in Haridwar to test the samples but it lacked the required staff. We have now appointed five new chemists and are in the process of recruiting more,” he said.