MDH Spices Under Investigation for Cancer-Causing Agent

In a recent development, Hong Kong and Singapore have banned the sale of certain spice-mix products by Indian brands, MDH and Everest, due to the presence of a carcinogenic chemical. This decision has sparked concerns, leading India’s food safety regulator, FSSAI, to take action by collecting samples from all spice brands across the country for testing purposes.

Concerns Over Cancer-Causing Pesticide

The ban on MDH and Everest spices comes after Singapore and Hong Kong flagged quality issues. Singapore recalled the Fish Curry Masala from Everest for exceeding permissible limits of a cancer-causing pesticide, ethylene oxide. Similarly, Hong Kong found this pesticide in Everest Fish Curry Masala Powder and three MDH products, prompting a ban on these items.

According to the Singapore Food Agency, ethylene oxide is not approved for use in edibles and should only be used for fumigating agricultural products to prevent microbial contamination. Consequently, both countries have taken measures to prevent the sale and distribution of these affected spices.

Spices Board of India’s Response

The Spices Board of India is investigating the ban imposed by Hong Kong and Singapore on the sale of MDH and Everest products. Director A B Rema Shree stated that they are actively looking into the matter, while awaiting comments from the involved companies.

Meanwhile, Indian government sources clarified that FSSAI does not regulate the quality of exported spices. However, FSSAI, operating under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, regularly samples spices from the market to ensure compliance with domestic standards.

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In light of recent events, FSSAI is intensifying its sampling efforts by including all spice brands, including MDH and Everest, to verify their adherence to FSSAI norms.

Looking Ahead

As the investigation unfolds, the spice industry is under scrutiny, and consumers are advised to remain cautious. While the situation is evolving, it serves as a reminder of the importance of food safety and regulatory measures.

For further updates on this matter, stay tuned to reputable news sources and regulatory announcements.