afaqs! news bureau

Govt asks Everest to take corrective measures over ethylene oxide presence

The government found some Everest spice samples non-compliant, while all 18 MDH samples were compliant with standards.

The government has discovered that certain samples of Everest spices were non-compliant under the strictest standards (0.1 mg per Kg) regarding presence of ethylene oxide, as reported by The Financial Express. The government has asked the brand to take corrective measures to address these issue. Meanwhile, the samples of MDH were found to be compliant with the standards.

An official working close to the matter stated, “We have carried out sample testing from both these companies and we have found that all 18 samples of MDH were compliant with standards. However, in the case of Everest, some of the samples (out of 12) were non-compliant and for that we have told them to take corrective actions and we are working with them to ensure that they are compliant."

The official also mentioned that the MRL requirements are evolving over time and the spices industry is fully aware of this. "We have had three industry-wide consultations on the issue. They are also looking at alternatives to EtO use. There are alternative technologies that many exporters are already using, and these are being examined by the industry," the official added.

This finding came after Hong Kong, on April 5, advised its citizens against consuming products from MDH and Everest Food Products due to the presence of the pesticide ethylene oxide (EtO). Subsequently, Singapore, Australia and Nepal also recalled the products from these Indian spice brands.

Countries across the world have varying maximum residual limits (MRL) for ethylene oxide (EtO). The EU has set this limit between 0.02 and 0.1 mg per kg, Singapore’s limit is 50 mg per kg, and Japan's limit is 0.01 mg per kg.

Meanwhile, India has issued detailed guidelines to prevent EtO contamination in spices intended for export. The government has also implemented other preventive measures, including mandatory testing of spices being exported to Singapore and Hong Kong.

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