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Indian spices under scrutiny in UK

Indian spices under scrutiny in UK

Indian spices under scrutiny in UK

Following close on the heels of action taken by Hong Kong and Singapore against spice imports from India, the UK’s food watchdog scaled up scrutiny of the same. It has clamped extra control measures on all spice imports from India, according to a report by Reuters.

“The use of ethylene oxide is not allowed here and maximum residue levels are in place for herbs and spices,” James Cooper, Deputy Director of Food Policy at the Food Standards Agency (FSA), told Reuters in a statement. “If there is any unsafe food or food on the market, the FSA will take rapid action to ensure consumers are protected.”

In the most stringent crackdown so far impacting all Indian spices, the FSA said that in light of the concerns it has “applied extra control measures for pesticide residues in spices from India which includes ethylene oxide.”

It may be recalled that MDH faced flak in Hong Kong last month, with the sales of its three spice blends suspended. One of Everest’s blends was also suspended. The products, the authorities said, contained high levels of a cancer-causing pesticide ethylene oxide.

Singapore ordered a recall of the Everest mix. New Zealand, the United States, India, and Australia have since said they are looking into issues related to the two brands.

India is the biggest exporter, consumer, and producer of spices in the world.

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