The Gujarat Food and Drugs Control Administration (FDCA) conducted a statewide search and seizure operation today, after a Gandhidham-based beverage manufacturer was found to be selling an "energy drink" with a considerable amount of alcohol in it, an FDCA official said.
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"The manufacturer of the beverage called 'U-Star' claimed it is an energy drink and sold it Rs 100 per bottle. Recently, we came to know that it contained a considerable amount of alcohol, which is not permissible," Gujarat FDCA Commissioner H G Koshia said.
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"The drink was sold mainly at paan shops. Our teams raided several parts of Saurashtra and Northern Gujarat region, such as Morbi as well as Mehsana, to seize several bottles of the drink.
"One can easily smell alcohol in the drink. To verify the contents of the drink, we have sent its samples for laboratory tests," Koshia said.
Since a primary investigation established that the drink contained alcohol, FDCA officials also raided the manufacturing facility of 'U-Star' at Gandhidham in Kutch. "It is a small company with a plant in Gandhidham.
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When we raided the premises, we learnt that the owner had already shut the plant a few days ago and gone underground. We will approach the Home Department and the police to book the
culprits under relevant sections of the law," Koshia said. He said that when FDCA officials checked the labels on U-Star bottles, they found a registration number provided by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), which meant that the manufacturer got a clearance certificate from the central authority.
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"However, we are doubtful about the claim made by the manufacturer have received FSSAI clearance. Though the labels carry the FSSAI number on it, we will cross check it with the central authority, since we doubt that it could be fake," Koshia said.