It’s been illegal in the UK since 1874, but the importation of saffron was re-imported from India in the early twentieth century in order to improve the taste of the saffron dish. This made the colour of the dye different than that of white saffron, so it has been illegal in the UK ever since. The ban on saffron importation did not last long, however, as Indian saffron was becoming a very popular ingredient for many foods in those days, and some people felt that the colour was too bright and it was too expensive to ban.
It wasn’t until the late 1960s that the colour was officially outlawed in the UK. But the fact that there is a law against certain substances not allowed on the grounds of colour makes it less clear whether the substance is illegal under UK law or not.
The substance is certainly illegal to possess or to sell, even if it’s not explicitly labelled as such. The law against possessing a substance to which it is illegal to be legally supplied was brought into force by the British Criminal Evidence Act, introduced in 1977, to stop people going off the legal supply as they went out and sold what they bought.
The only exception to the prohibition is saffron oil, a substance known to be adulterated as part of the processing of it for sale on the black market. But it’s not clear what substances are permitted to be used.
Are all saffron flowers illegal?
No. The only flowers banned in the UK are those found growing in countries where illegal substances are banned. This includes the most common and widely used floral flowers such as carnations, chives and rose hips, among many others.
Do all flowers have saffron in them?
The answer to this question depends on where the flower is grown and if it’s grown in a country where saffron is banned.
The main reason that saffron flowers aren’t included in the banned plants list is that most flowers naturally produce a reddish-orange, yellow or red dye in them. There are two main categories of saffron – red and yellow – but saffron is a rare flower, and so not in both categories.
Do saffron flowers get their colour from a seed?
Not really, says John Rennie, the research leader at Plant Biotechnology UK, on the BBC website. “Saffron flowers are not actually planted in
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