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India has one of the most stringent standards in MRLs in spices : FSSAI

India has one of the most stringent standards in MRLs in spices : FSSAI

New Delhi: The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) in a statement rubbished the recent reports that the agency has increased the amount of pesticides allowed in herbs and spices by up to 10 times, calling them ‘false and malicious’, The Wire reported.

The authority reportedly claimed: “India has one of the most stringent standards of Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) in the world and MRLs of pesticides are fixed differently for different food commodities based on their risk assessments.”

It was reported earlier this week that the FSSAI has increased the MRL from 0.01 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) to 0.1 mg/kg.

Subsequently, experts pointed out that the upward revision would lead to more Indian spices being declared unfit for consumption on the international market.

The FSSAI pointed out that it has a ‘Scientific Panel on Pesticides Residues’ to recommend the MRLs after assessing the risk based on ‘the dietary consumption of Indian population and health concerns in respect of all age groups’.

The agency stated India has over 295 pesticides and 139 of them are approved for use in spices alone. Crops and produce grown on different pesticides have different MRLs.

“The MRL of 0.01 mg/kg was applicable in case of pesticides for which MRLs have not been fixed. This limit was increased to 0.1 mg/kg only in cases of spices and is applicable only for those pesticides which are not registered in India,” FSSAI reportedly stated.

The FSSAI’s issued clarification, according to the report, suggests that the increased MRL is not for pesticides registered in India but only on those imported goods.

Reacting to the development, Paresh G. Shah, former head of the Pesticide Residue Laboratory, reportedly said: “The default limit of 0.1 mg/Kg was fixed for monitoring purpose only for those pesticides which are not permitted for use in India.”

It all began after Hong Kong, Singapore and Maldives banned the sale of MDH and Everest brands of species having found high pesticide content.

The food regulators of these countries reportedly found the cancer-causing pesticide ethylene oxide.

Subsequently, the MDH rejected the reports, claiming their species were completely safe.

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TAGS:New DelhiFSSAIIndia NewsPesticides in spice
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