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FSSAI Cancels Manufacturing Licences of 111 Spice Producers Across India

111 spice manufacturers and traders across the country have had their manufacturing licenses withdrawn by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). This action has been due to the FSA alerts on ethylene oxide in Indian spices before January 2023. FSSAI clarified that the fast-moving brand MDH as well as, Everest does not contain the contaminating chemical, this aspect was also supported by a lack of evidence of the chemical when they tested the brands.

There have been blanket bans from the international markets and response by FSSAI.
I remember that in April, Singapore and Hong Kong prohibited the sale of the MDH Pvt. Ltd and Everest Food Products Pvt spices because, presumably, they contain the carcinogenic pesticide ethylene oxide. This led FSSAI to send a sample system of spices to various country cities for testing purposes. The latest online articles show that FSSAI has seized 2,200 samples, of which licenses of 111 spice manufacturers were suspended on the spot for not meeting the basic standard.

Testing Challenges
The FSSAI testing centers are limited in number which has slowed down the discovery of non-compliant companies. The majority of the licenses revoked are of small spiced makers from Kerala and Tamil Nadu with few from Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh. Most of these producers are Small-scale and therefore have no official website; they do not have contact numbers or email IDs.

The declaration of health issues to be free of any charges from MDH and Everest Clean.
May had FSSAI conducting sample tests on MDH and Everest spices wherein 34 samples were tested with 9 samples from Everest’s unit in Mumbai and Ahmedabad and 25 samples from MDH’s unit in Delhi, Farrukhnagar, and Rajasthan. The tests concerned indicators such as moisture, insect and/or rodent infestation, lead and mercurium levels, aflatoxin, and pesticide presence. As for the samples in question, the laboratories equipped with NABL accreditation stated that the level of ethylene oxide in the substances was zero.


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