Cancer-Causing Agent Found In Everest, MDH Spices? Food Panel To Examine Samples


The development comes after Hong Kong and Singapore banned the sale of four spice-mix products by Indian brands, MDH and Everest, after a carcinogenic chemical found in them.

Singapore and Hong Kong have been banned four products from MDH and Everest brands for containing a cancer-causing pesticide.

Following the ban on Indian spices’ brands, MDH and Everest, by Hong Kong and Singapore, after they were allegedly found to contain a cancer-causing pesticide, India’s food safety regulator, FSSAI said they have taken samples of spices from all brands across the country for testing purposes.

“Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has started taking samples of spices in powder form of all brands, including MDH and Everest, from across the country in view of quality concerns flagged by Singapore and Hong Kong,” news agency PTI quoted a government source as saying.

Hong Kong, Singapore ban MDH, Everest spices

The development comes after Hong Kong and Singapore banned the sale of four spice-mix products by Indian brands, MDH and Everest, after a carcinogenic chemical found in them. Last week, Singapore recalled the Fish Curry Masala from Everest brand, for allegedly containing a cancer-causing pesticide, ethylene oxide, beyond permissible limits.

Earlier this month, Hong Kong had found the same pesticide in the Everest Fish Curry Masala Powder as well as three MDH products– MDH Madras Curry Powder (spice blend for Madras curry), MDH Sambhar Masala Mixed Masala Powder, and MDH Curry Powder Mixed Masala Powder– prompting a ban on these products.

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As per the Singapore Food Agency, ethylene oxide is not authorised for use edibles and must only used to fumigate agricultural products to prevent microbial contamination.

The Hong Kong’s Center for Food Safety (CFS) has asked consumers not to buy these products and traders not to sell, while the Singapore Food Agency has directed a recall of such spices.

Spices board of India looking into ban

The Spices Board of India said it is looking into the ban imposed by Hong Kong and Singapore on the sale of the above mentioned products from MDH and Everest.

“We are looking into the matter. We are at it,” said Spices Board of India Director A B Rema Shree.

Comments from the companies involved in the controversy are awaited.

Meanwhile, Indian government sources asserted that the FSSAI does not regulate quality of exported spices.

FSSAI, which operates under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, takes samples of spices regularly from the market to check the quality of product sold in the domestic market.

“In view of the current development, FSSAI is taking samples of spices of all brands, including MDH and Everest, from the market to check whether they meet the FSSAI norms,” sources said, according to PTI.

(With PTI inputs)



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