Spices banned in Singapore and Hong Kong are less than 1 pc of India’s total exports

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Public TV English
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NEW DELHI: After the recent spice controversy, where Singapore and Hong Kong banned the sale of MDH and Everest spices in their countries due to the presence of Ethylene Oxide (EtO) residue, the Spice Board of India has taken steps to ensure the safety and quality of Indian spice exports to these regions.

Government sources said that use of EtO is allowed in different countries from 0.73 per cent to up to 7 per cent. The sources said a standard should be devised for use of EtO by different countries. Also, the spices banned in these countries are less than 1 per cent of India’s total spice exports.

To ensure the quality of spices, the spice board has now made it mandatory to sample and test for EtO residues for all spice shipments to Singapore and Hong Kong from May 7, 2024. The board has implemented the recommendations of the Techno-Scientific Committee, which conducted the root cause analysis, inspected processing facilities, and collected samples for testing in accredited labs.

The Spice Board of India also organized a stakeholder consultation involving over 130 exporters and associations, such as the All India Spices Exporters Forum and the Indian Spice and Foodstuff Exporters’ Association. The board has also issued the guidelines to the EtO treatment to all exporters. The spice board has taken these steps to prevent EtO contamination in spices exported from India.

In the April, Hong Kong’s food safety watchdog banned four spice products of Indian brands MDH and Everest after they found they contained cancer-causing chemicals.

The Centre for Food Safety of the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region announced on April 5 that routine surveillance programs had uncovered the presence of ethylene oxide in three spices from MDH Group, Sambhar Masala Powder, and Curry Powder. (ANI)

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