Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 20 July 2024 4.10 AM IST

Products of renowned Indian masala brands banned in this country; this is reason behind ban


KATHMANDU: Nepal has banned the import, consumption and sale of Indian spice brands Everest and MDH in the country.
Nepal's Department of Food Technology and Quality imposed the ban on the Indian brands after it was recently revealed that they contain high levels of ethylene oxide, which is harmful to the body.

Krishna Maharjan, spokesperson of Nepal's Department of Food Technology and Quality Control, told the media that the import of the products in Nepal was restricted and the sale was banned a week ago after reports claimed that the spices contained traces of harmful chemicals. '

"Tests are underway for the chemicals in the spices of these two particular brands. The ban will remain in place until the final report comes up. Hong Kong and Singapore already have banned it, this move comes following their move," Maharjan added.

According to sources, the use of EtO is allowed in different countries from 0.73 per cent to up to 7 per cent.

Government sources said a standard should be devised for the use of EtO by different countries. Also, the spices banned in these countries are less than one per cent of India's total spice exports.

Meanwhile, the Spice Board of India has taken steps to ensure the safety and quality of Indian spice exports to these regions.

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 for the EtO treatment to all exporters. The spice board has taken these steps to prevent EtO contamination in spices exported from India.

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

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

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