FSSAI cancels licenses of 111 spice companies, uproar across the country

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FSSAI: In the month of April, Singapore and Hong Kong banned the sale of popular Indian spice brands MDH Pvt Ltd and Everest Food Products Pvt after carcinogenic pesticide ethylene oxide was found in several products.

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Following this, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) started collecting samples of spices in various cities for safety checks and according to recent reports, they have cancelled the manufacturing licenses of 111 spice producers last month and directed them to stop production immediately.

Investigation of herbs and spices continues

If reports are to be believed, the process is still on and more cancellations are likely. FSSAI continues to test 4,000 samples across the country. These samples include products from famous brands like Everest, MDH, Catch and Badshah. According to a report, the regulatory body has tested 2,200 samples. Out of them, 111 spice manufacturers failed to match the basic standard quality of the product. The license of such spice manufacturers has been cancelled with immediate effect and production has been stopped.

There was a stir in Tamil Nadu from Kerala

It is also reported that the number of testing centres under FSSAI is less and hence it is taking time to prepare the list of companies whose licences need to be cancelled. According to officials, most of the cancelled licences belong to small spice manufacturers from Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Also, companies from Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh are under the scanner. Most of these 111 companies are small-scale and could not be contacted as they do not have official websites, contact numbers or email IDs.

Everest and MDH spices also included

In the same process, FSSAI tested samples of MDH and Everest in the month of May and ethylene oxide (ETO) was not found in it. This test included 34 samples of Everest and MDH spices, out of which 9 were taken from Everest’s facilities in Maharashtra and Gujarat and 25 from MDH’s facilities in Delhi, Haryana and Rajasthan.

  • As per the report, the testing included the following parameters
  • Moisture content
  • Insect and rodent contamination
  • Heavy metals
  • Aflatoxins
  • Pesticide residues

The samples were tested for ethylene oxide in NABL-certified laboratories. So far, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has received around 28 laboratory reports and the ethylene oxide chemical has not been found in them.

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